Sens Take Down Bears In Defensive Battle

The Binghamton Senators defeated the Hershey Bears in overtime on Sunday night, winning 2-1 on a video review goal with 6.5 seconds remaining in overtime. Hugh Jessiman recorded his second goal of the year for the Senators, who improved to 3-1-1 on the season. Bears’ goalie Philipp Grubauer was strong in net for Hershey, stopping 24 of 26 shots his way. Binghamton goalie, Robin Lehner was strong in net as well for the Senators, earning his third win of the season during his 24 save performance.

Hershey Bears coach, Mark French spoke post-game about the goal review. “It was initially waved off”, French stated. “What they communicated after they allowed the goal was that they were checking whether the net was off before the puck crossed the line.”

The first period was uneventful compared to Saturday night’s game, with no goals coming from either team. The Senators held the majority of the scoring chances in the period, out shooting the Bears 12-8. The Senators almost hit pay dirt during a two man advantage late in the first stanza, but Bears’ goalie and Washington Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer was strong in net. Grubauer padded aside 12 shots on goal during the first period of his first AHL start, backing up what the Capitals brass saw in him when drafting him in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

Bears’ coach Mark French talked about Grubauer’s play during the penalty kill. “It was a big part of the game”, French said. “Anytime a team gets a five on three it’s often a turning point in a game, he made a number of big saves and I would imagine he has gained some confidence in how he was playing.”

The Senators took a 1-0 lead early in the second period, 3:02 into the period. Binghamton defense-man, Andre Benoit potted his second goal of the year, pouncing on a rebound off Grubauer.

Hershey lacked any offensive spunk for most of the period, but tied it up with 3:08 left in the second period. Jeff Taffe ripped his second goal of the season just past the blue line coming toward Lehner on the rush. With the goal, Taffe took the lead in points scored for the Bears, with two goals and five assists to date.

“Kind of ran out of options there”, Taffe said about his goal. “You don’t score many of those so it’s kind of nice when they can sneak in once in a while.”

Neither team could find twine in the third period, leading the two clubs to overtime. Hugh Jessiman got credit for the winning goal during a scrum in front of the Hershey net. The goal was originally waved off, but overturned following replay.

Nevertheless, Grubauer was very efficient in net. “I thought he played well”, French said. “Gave us a chance to win, he looked very calm and composed in the net and I thought he played the puck very well. I thought it was a really good start for him.”

Hershey hits the road on October 26th with an away game against the Connecticut Whale and then returns home for two weekend games against the Albany Devils and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

Game Notes:

  1. Attendance: 9,802
  2. Braden Holtby is still listed as day to day according to Mark French
  3. Ryan Potulny will be reassessed on Tuesday and is still listed day to day with a lower body injury

Three Stars:

  1. Derek Grant (2 shots)
  2. Robin Lehner (24 saves)
  3. Philipp Grubauer (24 saves)

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

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