BINGHAMTON – In what has become a recurring theme, the Binghamton Senators faced deja vu as they fell to the Hershey Bears 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday night in front of 3079 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. It was the fifth time they have fallen into the L column consecutively, and the third time over the stretch that it has ended in a shootout. Despite the shootout loss, Binghamton (14-7-0-3 31 points, T-1 East) is tied for first in the East Division.
Binghamton came out with a brisk pace, at times too brisk for their own good. They unleashed 13 shots on David Leggio, who was stellar in the period and over the game.
“I thought we controlled the game,” coach Luke Richardson said. “We could have had a better fate, but it’s just not falling that easy for us right now.”
“It’s starting to get to a point where it’s frustrating to come to the rink,” goal scorer Mark Stone stated. “we’re there but we’re not getting wins. [This is] unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, Hershey (9-8-2-3 23 points, 5th East) got on the board with their first shot of the game. With a penalty due to come for the B-Sens, and Hershey just seconds past their first penalty kill of the night, the Bears found themselves in a 3-on-2 on Andrew Hammond. Michael Latta passed the puck to Patrick Weller, who deked around his defender and fooled Hammond to score an easy first goal of the season. The goal came just 3:52 into the game. Hershey’s second shot on net did not come until the midway point of the opening frame.
Binghamton had to wait until halfway through the second to crack the code that is the Clarkson alumnus and AHL veteran Leggio. They did it the way the love to, a sneaky backhanded goal in the crease. Frederick Cleasson got a pass from Cody Ceci, who was up in the left point. Cleasson saw through the traffic in front of the net and somehow threaded the needle from the right circle to a waiting Stone, who backhanded his fifth goal of the year at the 9:25 mark.
The B-Sens were not done in the second stanza. Matt Hoffman, who drove in from Ottawa Wednesday morning, shot the puck from the right point towards Leggio. Leggio made the initial save but the puck found its way through his legs and slowly reached the goal line before the Hershey netminder could put his glove on top of it. Hoffman’s 12th goal of the year came at the 15:55 mark.
Binghamton was on cloud nine in the third, and momentum had seemingly finally turned their way, as 4:59 into the final frame Shane Prince passed the puck from the left side to the right where Andre Petersson put home a one-timer to make it a 3-1 lead. Leggio took over the game and the Senators seemed to let go of the pedal a bit, although they still played hard. Leggio was perfect the rest of the night, including the shootout.
Hershey took advantage of the rookie goaltender in Hammond, and was able to claw their way back. Exactly one minute later, Stanislav Galiev answered. Off the faceoff, Galiev ended up with the puck and shot it from the top of the slot on the left side. Hammond had no chance, and saw the Sens lead get cut in half. The goal was unassisted and was Galiev’s second of the season.
The final goal of the night came 12:23 into the third. when the Bears created traffic in front, allowing Michael Latta to tap in his third of the season. This goal was unassisted as well, but was originally credited to Casey Wellman, who touched the puck after it had crossed the goal line.
The game went into overtime, where for the second time in as many games, Binghamton kept their opponent off the shot clock. The B-Sens ended up with 12 fewer shots in the extra session this time around, but still had a 42-26 shots advantage over the game.
It was Hershey that showed up for the shootout. After a lengthy delay to repair the ice, Ryan Stoa and Gailev scored for Hershey, while Leggio shut down the Senators, handing them their fifth loss in a row.
Binghamton travels to Utica for the first time in over 10 years on Friday night, and looks to avoid a six game winless streak. Hershey will take on their in-state rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday, before the two teams meet in Hershey on Saturday.
VIDEO HILIGHTS, COURSTESY OF THE BINGHAMTON SENATORS via YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyTrVFeSUPg&feature=youtu.be&a
3. Mark Stone (BIN) G, A
2. Michael Latta (HER) GTG
1. David Leggio (HER) SO W, 39 SV
- Hoffman returned to the lineup after a brief stint in Ottawa. As mentioned above, he drove from Ottawa to Binghamton, a trip of roughly five hours plus customs, Wednesday morning. “They said that I need to play…I was scratched the last two nights. You’re not going to get any better by sitting in the press box,” a tired and agitated Hoffman said after the game.
- Mark Borowiecki got into a fight with Josh Brittain in the first. Brittain dropped the gloves first and Borowiecki made him pay, pummeling him to the ice. Here are some comments from Richardson:
“Tonight he was the typical leader and getting up the ice and rushing the puck and joining the rush and playing hard defensively.”
On the fight: “Boro’s a dangerous guy out there.”
“We’re glad to have him back to help us. He’s a great play and he won’t be here very long this year, and if not this year he won’t be back next year.”
- Nathan Lawson had a lower body injury that he was recovering from, causing the Senators to sign Scott Marean, a local kid who attends SUNY Broome, to an ATO. Lawson was supposed to return today, and Marean was released from his ATO, but the Binghamton goalie suffered flu-like symptoms and remained home Wednesday. Binghamton signed journeyman Rob Madore to a PTO. Madore was in the Florida Panthers camp this preseason, and was playing for the Cincinnati Cylcones of the ECHL and Charlotte Checkers of the AHL before being signed. Lawson’s status is day-to-day.