BINGHAMTON – On Civil War Night, it was only appropriate that a man with the same last name as a famous general set the tone in a game that gave the Binghamton Senators their ninth win over their last 10 as they defeated the Hershey Bears 4-2 Friday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
A lackluster start plagued the two teams, but it was Binghamton (23-10-0-3, 29 points 1st East) – and Derek Grant – that started the scoring. Shorthanded, he found the puck at the blue line and did what he does best. He put it into high gear, skating around the defenseman and surprising David Leggio top shelf on the breakaway. It was his fourth goal of the year, second shorthanded, and the team’s 10th man down goal.
“If you can catch a team off guard and they’re not ready for it, you can get a jump on their D,” Grand revealed.
“My main goal is to kill the penalty and get the puck down 200 feet. Obviously our team has the go ahead and green light to go if we have the chance and we’re doing a good job at it.”
Grant had additional opportunities on three different occasions to equal his achievement, but could not beat the Hershey netminder a second time. On the final occasion, the defenseman came in and stole the puck, leading to Grant slapping his stick against the glass in frustration.
It took until the second period before the Bears (15-13-3-3 36 points, 4th East) could light the lamp, but they did so quickly. Nicolas Deschamps passed the puck to Brandon Segal in the right circle. Segal let go an “excuse me” type soft wrister that got past Nathan Lawson to tie the score at one. IT was Segal’s seventh goal of the 2012-13 campaign at :44.
The battle continued in the second, as the teams exchanged goals 1:23 apart. First, Frederick Claesson received the puck off the draw at the left point and sent it down to Andre Petersson. Petersson centered the puck to Matt Puempel, who was skating into the left slot and got the puck past Leggio for his 12th of the year at 7:43.
Then, at 9:06, it was Segal again, tying the game at two with his eighth of the year. After Deschamps’ shot was stopped, Segal put home the rebound in traffic. Julien Brouillette also was credited with an assist.
At about the midway point, a frustrated Corey Cowick tried to turn the momentum over with a clean check on his man. Tyson Strachan took offense and the heavyweight dared Cowick to go. It was a quick fight with Strachan getting the win, but the Binghamton forward did his job as Hershey remained off the scoresheet the rest of the night.
“I just saw an opportunity to finish my check,” Cowick said. “Strachan, kudos to him for stepping up for his teammate.
“…I think at that time there was a little frustration on our line…it was a nice play and a nice hit to turn the tides a bit.”
Binghamton ended up with the lead at the end of the second stanza as Shane Prince redirected a shot that appeared to go off his glove to make it 3-2. It was Prince’s seventh of the year, with initial shooter Chris Wideman and Buddy Robinson assisting.
The B-Sens iced the game with :56 left, as down a man Cole Schneider ripped the puck down ice into the open net for his 13th goal of the year. With the goal, Binghamton now has a league leading 11 shorthanded tallies on the year as they win 4-2.
The Senators welcome in the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night while The Bears return home to take on the Springfield Falcons.
HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL STAR:
The AHL released their All Star team that will face Swedish Hockey League club Farjestad BK in St. John’s, NL February 12. Since there is just one team appearing in the classic, only 20 players were named all stars. Mike Hoffman will represent Binghamton, while Stephane Da Costa among a host of other candidates were held off the limited roster. Here are Hoffman’s thoughts:
“The success comes from the players you play with – the teammates. Even if you’re a good player you can’t do it all yourself…
“It would be nice if [Da Costa] could come with me but he didn’t make the roster. It’s a great accomplishment and I’m proud of it.”
INSIDE HOCKEY THREE STARS
3. Nicolas Deschamps (HER) 2 A
2. Brandon Segal (HER) G
1. Derek Grant (BIN) SHG