BINGHAMTON, NY - The Binghamton Senators and Connecticut Whale are both in the playoff hunt. They are both in second place in their respective divisions. They both were coming off a momentum stopping loss. They both needed a win.
To their credit, they both played well.
The score was not completely indicative of the game, as it was the Senators that came out victorious, blanking the Whale 3-0 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Friday night, the same night that the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers met downstate at Madison Square Garden (Ottawa won that contest 3-2).
The Senators got the scoring started quickly.On just their third shot on goal, Fredrick Cleasson wound up a hard slap shot from the center point off a beautiful feed from the Jean-Gabriel Padeau on left wing boards. The goal came just 56 seconds into the opening frame. It appeared as if this was going to be a high scoring and high intensity game.
“I think coming out early and having a really good start in our building really reestablishes what we worked so hard for to build in the beginning of the year,” Senators head coach Luke Richardson said.
Instead, goaltending was the order of the night, as Nathan Lawson stopped all 34 shots he faced en route to his second shutout of the season. Connecticut’s Cameron Talbot made some stellar saves himself, including a spectacular stop with five minutes remaining and The Whale still in it down 1-0. Dustin Gazley was in one-on-one with his defender in the slot. He deked right but went left around him. Then, he made a similar move on Talbot who made the pad save.
“Real solid early,” Richardson said of Lawson. “He did a great job of battling to make clean saves.”
The game had its physical moments as well, with two fights, some big hits, and a lot of chirping.
11:21 into the game, Mark Borowiecki landed a clean hit on Binghamton;s Brandon Mashinter in the Senators end, but Mashinter took offense to being laid out. The gloves dropped at center ice, but nothing really materialized. The two exchanged more words in the penalty box after than blows exchanged on the ice.
Later in the period, Connecticut’s Kris Newbury and Senators’ Dustin Gazley tired to get something going, but ended up heading to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct after a shouting match along the benches.
The heavyweight bout took place with just 7 seconds left, as Dylan McIlrath and Darren Kramer let loose with nothing left on the line, except beating their teammates to the locker room. The fight took place in the corner near The Whale’s tunnel, with the two exchanging many blows, and McIlrath losing his jersey. The game was out of reach, though, and it was all academic with so little time left.
With the game still close The Whale’s Andrew Yogan skated up the left side, holding the puck around the net. His wraparound attempt came in front of an open net, and if it wasn’t for Corey Cowick, would have tied the game. Cowick came sliding in and effectively made a “pad save” keeping the puck away.
“A little bit of road hockey,” Cowick said. “I don’t know if it hit me or not. I was just trying to keep [it] from going in and keep the lead there.”
A short time later, with under three minutes left, Chris Wideman scored his first goal of the year. Wideman received the puck in the left slot area from Shane Prince, and ripped a hard slap shot to effectively ice the game. Brett Lebda also tallied a helper on the goal.
At 18:18, with the score 2-0 and Talbot out of his net for an extra attacker, Wacey Hamilton lobbed the puck down ice to put the icing on the cake and end the game with a 3-0 score.
The Senators remain at home tomorrow night to take on the Rochester Americans at 7:05 PM while The Whale heads up to Glens Falls, NY to battle the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 PM from the GFCC.
NOTES: The Senators did not have to kill a single penalty. “It was nice to…play a disciplined game and stay out of the penalty box,” Richardson said.
It took Wideman 41 games to score his first goal of the year. Nick Craven and Steven Schultz made their Senators debuts in the game. 3,267 fans attended the game that took 2:29 to finish. Two referees worked tonight’s game.
Note that tomorrow’s game will be a “Swift Sens” recap.
SCRATCHES: (CT) Jyri Niemi, Ryan Borque, Marek Hrivik, and Shayne Wiebe
(BNG) Jared Cowen, Cole Schneider, Hugh Jessiman, Andre Petersson, JAck Downing, Mike Hoffman, Tyler Eckford, Brad Peltz
- 19-92-23 25-39
- 11-20-26 3-5
- 82-23-19 48-2
- 21-12-36 5-6
- 23-10-39 13-3
- 18-24-14 44-8
3. BNG Corey Cowick
2. BNG Fredrik Claesson
1. BNG Nathan Lawson