BINGHAMTON – The Rochester Americans came to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night with one goal: Spoil the Binghamton Senators in front of their largest crowd of the season. They succeeded, as they steamrolled the Sens 5-2 in front of 4505 fans, many there to celebrate the induction of Danis Hamel into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame.
Rochester (19-15-3-3 44 points, 2nd North) made their presence known early, as for the second time in two days, Senators goalie Andrew Hammond allowed a goal in the first two minutes. Brayden Irwin scored his first goal of the year at the 1:45 mark this time on a rebound off his own initial shot. The second chance went high over the already outstretched pad of Hammond, who had no chance. Johan Larsson and Luke Adam assisted on the early goal.
“We’ve been talking about getting better starts,” Coach Luke Richardson said. “Tonight we just didn’t react.
“…We just weren’t prepared to play as hard as they did today,” he continued
Binghamton did not go down easily, as 4:49 into the period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau knotted the game up at 1 on a powerplay goal. Chris Wideman had the shot from the center point, and Pageau was in the slot to put home a long rebound past Matt Hackett to get the game back to square one. Mike Hoffman was credited with the second assist on Pageau’s seventh of the year.
The Senators looked lost during the course of the game, coughing up the puck in their own zone, giving the Amerks multiple opportunities to take the lead. On the defensive end, Rochester kept the pressure on, closing the passing lanes and giving Binghamton fits in the offensive end.
Rochester took command of the game 8:28 into the opening frame when Kevin Porter scored his eighth of the year. A shot was blocked by Derek Grant, but the puck ricocheted right to Porter in the slot, who let go an easy shot past Hammond to put Rochester up 2-1.
With Mark Borowiecki in the box for high sticking, the Amerks doubled up their lead as Jamie Tardif scored his 12th of the year at 12:14. It was another block that led to the goal as Wideman blocked Brayden McNabb’s shot right to Tardiff who scored to make it 3-1. Binghamton came within one just a minute later as Shane Prince scored his 10th of the year to make it 3-2. He let go a hard wrister from the slot that frustrated Hackett. Andre Petersson helped get the puck loose to the slot and was credited with an assist.
Binghamton escaped a lackluster first period down one, but Pageau had a chance to tie it with mere seconds remaining, but the puck hit the inside post and rebounded out to keep the game at 3-2.
“We weren’t on mentally,” Richardson said. “And that effects physically.”
That was the end of the scoring for Binghamton, and Rochester added quick insurance as Larsson scored his fifth of the year 1:26 into the second stanza. Hammond made two saves, but Larsson poked it in on the third chance to make double up the lead at 4-2. Irwin and Adam assisted.
Binghamton just could not get anything going, and only mustered eight shots in the period. Meanwhile, Rochester made their 11th of the frame count, as they scored the dagger at 19:52. After David Dziurzynski took a penalty for closing his hand on the puck, Adam scored his 18th goal of the year with McNabb and Porter helping.
Binghamton played a noticeably better period in the third, outshooting the Amerks 13-7, but their momentum came too late, as Matt Puempel and Kevin Sunder dropped the gloves at the 7:49 mark, but it was too little too late, as Hackett was dialed in in the third and sent the Sens fans home angry in the a 5-2 decision favoring the Americans.
Binghamton will face a rematch of Friday night’s victory in Albany on Sunday afternoon while Rochester returns to action Wednesday night at home against the Chicago Wolves.
“We have to make sure we rebound,” Richardson said. “Even though we’re tired, we’ll be playing three games in less than three days.”
- Derek Grant left the game near the end of the 1st with a muscle pull. He is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow.
- Scott Greenham will get his first AHL action of the season on Sunday as he is scheduled to start against Albany. Nathan Lawson is still day-to-day.
- Denis Hamel was inducted into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame. The former Captain is the leading goal scorer in team history and was a fan favorite in Binghamton for parts of 6 seasons. He also played for the Americans at the start of his professional career. The Lachute, Quebec native also played 192 NHL gamesscoring 19-12-31. He is the only Binghamton Senator to score 50+ goals, scoring 56 in 77 games in 2005-06
INSIDE HOCKEY 3 STARS:
1. Luke Adam (ROC) G, A
2. Kevin Porter (ROC) G, A
3. Johan Larsson (ROC) G, A