BINGHAMTON – One of the only things lacking on an impressive 2013-14 resume for the Binghamton Senators was a shutout. Not that the team with the highest scoring output (191 goals for after Saturday) needs their goaltenders to be brick walls, but it was a big gaping hole on the stats sheet. On Saturday, they achieved the coveted shutout, and they did it the only way they know how: by flat out dominating the opponent.
The Senators scored early, often, and then some as they eased past the Worcester Sharks 8-0 in front of 4282 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. It was a performance rivaling Team USA’s dominance of Slovakia in the Olympics. Appropriately, the Senators donned “Binghamton USA” jerseys to honor Team USA.
Coming in off a 5-1 loss in Manchester Friday, the Sharks (23-21-3-1 50 points 4th Northeast) looked gassed from the beginning, and never really brought “it”. Binghamton (31-15-1-6 66 points 1st East), on the other hand, looked as sharp as could be, and played hard for a majority of the game, even when it was out of reach.
“We didn’t let them get started,” head coach Luke Richardson commented. “That’s a great sign of a team that wants to be in first place. They want to be the best and they want to stay there.”
Binghamton got their first goal 5:15 into the opening frame. Stephane Da Costa had the puck right in front of Harri Sateri but passed it from the right slot to the left circle, where he thought Mike Hoffman was. Hoffman overskated the puck and passed it right back down low to Da Costa who put it home and gave the Senators a 1-0 lead on his 13th goal of the year. They simply never looked back.
Jim O’Brien added his 11th later in the period at 16:49 as he teed up a rebound from Danny New that had tipped off Buddy Robinson’s stick. Sateri, who allowed all eight goals, had no chance on the power slap shot doubling things up at 2-0.
It remained a reasonable game until Cole Schneider intercepted the puck in his own zone and came all the way up into the right faceoff circle and scored his 17th of the year to make it 3-0 at 4:48.
The Senators were far from done. 1:54 later, at 6:42, Mike Hoffman sent the puck to the center point where Mike Sdao scored a rare goal off the slapshot to make it 4-0. It was his third of the year, with Mark Stone getting the secondary assist.
“It was nice to get the goal and contribute a bit,” Sdao said.
Just two seconds later, the game became chippy, and Sdao found himself two-thirds of the way to a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, as he took down Jimmy Bonneau in a bout off the ensuing draw.
Minutes later, Mark Borowiecki landed a huge hit on a Shark in their own left corner behind the goal line, and Worcester’s Nick Petricki took offense. Nothing seemed to go the Sharks’ way, however, and Borowiecki took care of business in the ensuing fight.
The offense was only halfway done as Shane Prince scored the fifth goal, and his 16th of the year, at 16:13. The sixth goal was scored by Stone, his 10th, at 19:32.
Meanwhile, Hammond was lights out, stopping all 21 shots he faced in the first two periods, and 29 overall. It was an easier workload, but the result was what he was waiting for.
“The team in front of me was excellent at keeping the pucks to the outside,” Hammond said. “To be honest , my biggest concern was just controlling my rebounds. They weren’t letting Worcester get any shots close and when they did it was a little bit of luck and great reads.
Much to the dismay of some, the third period had to be played, and Binghamton scored two more for good measure. First, Sdao scored again, marking his first career two goal and two point game. He came in on a rush on the right side and let go a shot from the circle to make it 7-0. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Andre Petersson assisted on the goal at 4:25.
“Mike works real hard and can shoot the puck hard,” Richardson said of the defenseman’s efforts. “We promote our D to join the rush and have the other guys back them up.”
“We had a three on two and I joined the rush to have the fourth guy,” Sdao explained. “The puck just kind of ended up on my stick. A blind guy could have put that one in,” he quipped.
Sdao’s defensive paring became the story, with the 6-4 229 lb. defenseman joining rushes to try to get the elusive hat trick. He could not, but the Senators did get a power play goal at the end as Matt Puempel scored his 18th at 11:34.
Binghamton will return to the ice on Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun Arena as they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, while Worcester will begin the long trek home with a stop in Springfield Sunday to take on the Falcons.
- It was Hammond’s first career shutout and the second highest scoring shutout in Binghamton Senators history
“It’s been a long road in my career to this point,” Hammond said of the achievement. “It’s another stepping stone in the right direction. Obviously it’s a personal achievement, but at the end of the day, without the team playing the way they did in front of me, I wouldn’t have had a chance tonight.”
- Prior to the game, the 29th annual Heart Cup took place, with proceeds benefitting the American Heart Association. The Binghamton Police and Binghamton Fire squads skated to a 6-6 tie in the event.
- Highlights: (Courtesy of the Senators)
INSIDE HOCKEY 3 STARS:
1. Andrew Hammond (BIN) W, Shutout, 29 Sv
2. Mike Sdao (BIN) 2 G
1. The entire rest of the Binghamton lineup