Hoffman, Senators Cruise to Victory Over Rival Crunch

SYRACUSE – The Binghamton Senators started rough, but at the end of the night cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch in front of 4,643 fans at the War Memorial at OnCenter Friday night. It was the team’s second win of the season over the Crunch and third overall as they improve to 3-1-0, while Syracuse falls to 1-2-1 in the early goings.

Binghamton, and Mike Hoffman got the scoring started midway in the opening frame. After a Syracuse too many men on the ice penalty, and Mike Angelidis’ tripping call, Binghamton had a long 5-on-3 powerplay. Chris Wideman sent the puck down to Hoffman in the top end of the shelf. He ripped a hard slapshot to the right glove side and top shelf past Cedrick Desjardins, putting Binghamton on top 7:05 into the game. Mika Zibanejad was credited with the second assist.

Later, after Mark Borowiecki took the first of four minors, a fluke goal tied the game. Vlad Namestnikov had the puck down low and on the right side. He centered the puck from behind the icing line into Nathan Lawson’s crease. It bounced between Lawson’s pads and into the net to tie the game 16:42 into the period. Nakita Kucherov and Matt Taormina were credited with helpers, but nobody really “helped” on that goal that will happen one out of 100 times.

“I thought we did a great job on the forecheck after that,” coach Luke Richardson said, “We created a couple of turnovers.”

Syracuse scored on a second powerplay in the second, after Tyler Ekford’s interference call. Namestnikov centered the puck to Kucherov who let go a hard one-timer from Lawson’s right, in a spot nearly identical to Hoffman’s, making it a 2-1 game 8:18 in. JT Brown as credited with the secondary assist.

Lawson upped his game after that goal, stopping a total of 40 shots and 21 in the second period alone. His team backed him up, scoring the next five unanswered goals.

A minute and change after the second Crunch goal, Matt Puempel sent the puck through the slot to Buddy Robinson, who scored his third career and first goal of the season on a one-timer past Desjardins to tie the game at 2. Stephane Da Costa was credited with the secondary assist at 9:43.

Exactly 1 minute later, the Sens scored again. Ben Blood ripped a slapshot from the top of the left point. It appeared that Wacey Hamilton got his stick on the puck but the scorer gave the goal to Blood, with assists going to Wideman and David Dziurzynski at 10:43.

The Senators were not done in the second stanza as they scored their fourth goal on a takeaway by Hoffman at 15:28. He let go a soft shot past Desjardins to make it a 4-2 game. It was hardly over, but Binghamton was not finished on the scoresheet.

In the third, Andre Petersson got on the sheet, letting go a hard slap shot from the point to make it 5-2 4:43 in. 10 minutes later, at 14:11, Puempel penciled his name on the list, scoing his first of the year. Da Costa fed the puck from the right side to him and Puempel capitalized, getting the puck past Desjardins, icing the game at 6-2.

Despite being outshot by a staggering 42-20, Binghamton capitalized on their chances and the Senators were rewarded with 6 goals, a 30% goal scoring clip.

“There were times in the game where they had a little bit of pressure on us,” Richardson said. “They had the second and third shots and that’s where [Lawson] really did the job…

“The time that we were in the zone we did an O.K. job. I just think we could be there a little more,” he commented on the lack of shots.

The two teams meet again tomorrow night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Puck drop is at 7:05 PM.

“We expect them to come hard tomorrow,” Chris Wideman said, “Our job is to be ready to be ready to handle that push and push back. That’s what we’re going to do. We expect them to come hard.”

NOTES:

  • After Borowiecki’s fourth penalty, he appeared to be benched, but Richardson said that he was in fact not.

“I didn’t…I think we would probably conserve his ice time. We’ve got three games in less than three days and that would be the only thing. He’s so physical and he only knows one way to play…Unfortunately it was tough luck on the last penalty. We want him to make sure he’s under control, and that’s his stick too.” – Luke Richardson

  • With the two PPGs, Syracuse is now ranked second in the league on the man advantage. They have 7 goals in 22 chances for a 31.7% success rate. Only Portland, who has played two fewer games has a higher rate of successful power plays. Binghamton and Syracuse are 28th and 29th respectively in penalty killing.
  • Before the game Stephane Da Costa was sent down to Binghamton and Derek Grant was called up to Ottawa before the game. Da Costa had two assists in his first action with Binghamton of the season.

“It’s nice to have him here. I’m sure he’s a little disappointed to have come down from the NHL, but at least he’s going to play a lot here and keep his skills at a high level to get that chance again” – Luke Richardson

  • Richardson was not sure whether Lawson or Andrew Hammond would start tomorrow, but said they will each get one of the remaining games this weekend.

THREE STARS:

3. Vlad Namestnikov (SYR) G, A

2. Mike Hoffman (BNG) 2 G

1. Nathan Lawson (BNG) W, 40 SV

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