BINGHAMTON – It’s been almost a month since the Binghamton Senators were last victorious, but the Sens finally snapped a six game skid, beating the Norfolk Admirals 3-1 Friday night in front of 3409 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, and a win by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the playoff picture shifts with the Pens leading the division and the Senators and Admirals trailing by a point and two, respectively (74, 73, 72).
“It’s better to end the losing streak with a hard fought game,” Senators captain Mark Borowiecki said.
This game was exactly that.
One constant for Binghamton (34-20-1-4, 73 points, 2nd East) has been the start. Despite playing a slower tempo game, Binghamton was able to use their skill and crack through at the 6:19 mark, as David Dziurzynski came in on the right side and rebounded Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s shot from the left point past Brad Theissen and into an open net to make it 1-0 Sens. It was Dziurzynski’s seventh goal of the year, with Cole Schneider getting the secondary assist.
The Sens were able to make it 2-0 at the 14:28 mark, but not without a bit of controversy. The Sens had appeared to score just seconds earlier, but the goal was disallowed. Stephane Da Costa ended up finding the back of the net for real and was credited with his 15th goal of the year. Mark Borowiecki and Chris Wideman received helpers.
To Sens fans dismay, the second period started with a bang. Just 13 seconds in, Norfolk’s (32-20-1-7, 72 points) Devonte Smith-Pelly scored his team leading 22nd goal of the year to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Garnet Exelby and Jsse Blacker assisted on the shocker.
But Binghamton did something they haven’t in a while, clinging to the one goal lead (they dropped a 4 goal lead last Saturday and a 2 goal lead the next day.)
Andrew Hammond stepped up big and the Sens defense was able to keep the ice tilted in their favor. Pageau scored an empty netter, his 13th at 18:52 of the third to seal the Sens first win of March.
Binghamton remains at home to take on the Rochester Americans in the first of an impromptu home-and-home (after a postponement last Wednesday) Saturday, while Norfolk makes the short trip to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night.
For Andre Petersson, it was a quiet homecoming. The forward played his entire AHL career in Binghamton before a deadline deal sent him to the division rival Admirals.
“He did a great job for us,” head coach Luke Richardson said. “It’s always sad to see a player go…We thanked him for all of his efforts this year and wished him well. Sometimes new life on a new team is good for a player. It looks like he’s off to a good start.”
Meanwhile, Alex Grant played his former team for the first time Friday.
“Those are nice ones to win,” Grant said of playing his old team. He said he gave the Sens a few pointers:
“Nothing serious. Just little pointers I thought could help the team. Any little tip is always good. I’m sure Petersson did the same thing.”
Mark Borowiecki is the heart and soul of this Senators team. To the point, Borowiecki hadn’t played since the last time the Sens won! Boro’s game was felt immediately:
“Nice to get back on track,” he said.
“People who know a thing or two about the game probably appreciate a defensive defenseman a little more than bloggers or tweeters…
“…That’s the little things that help the team win.”
If Borowiecki reads this article, we appreciate the defensive defensemen here at Inside Hockey.
But it wasn’t without difficulty. Aside from the physical pain, it was rough mentally on Borowiecki:
“No one wants to sit out, especially since it’s a critical time of the year. It’s tough to not have a little bit of control in the outcome of the games,” Borowiecki said.
“It sucks coming down [to the locker room] too. The guys are down in the dumps and you weren’t really out there with them.”
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS TYLER ECKFORD?
One question that remains to be answered is: What happened to Tyler Eckford? Eckford last played on February 22nd. He had played 32 games, registering 4 assists, a +7, and just 15 PIMS. the defender and British Columbia native is in the second year of a two year contract. For the past week, Eckford’s furnished apartment has sat vacant, with the china neatly stacked on the dining room table. There is no trace of his residence at the apartment, and he was not seen on the ice or off tonight. Eckford was scratched, and a team official said he is out for undisclosed reasons. Coach Luke Richardson clarified postgame that it is not injury related and he is not skating with the team. While it is not officially known, it is unlikely that Eckford will wear a Senators jersey again. Upon checking the rosters of ECHL teams and other AHL teams, he does not appear on another team’s roster. Inside Hockey will continue to follow the story for developments.
INSIDE HOCKEY THREE STARS:
3. Mark Borowiecki (BIN)
2. Jean-Gabriel Pageau (BIN) G, A
1. Andrew Hammond (BIN) W, 30 SV