After riding an impressive nine game winning streak and tying a club record in the process, the Binghamton Senators have finally come back down to Earth.
Luke Richardson's group dropped their second straight last night, this time falling short against the Syracuse Crunch by a 4-3 final. BSens goals came from Mike Hoffman, who had two, and Mark Stone. Next game comes on Friday night when they visit Wilkes Barre Scranton.
Not much new to report out of yesterday's Federally mediated CBA talks but there is a possibility the two sides will connect again today. While we wait from good news from the NHL, let's check in with Don Rieber for his take on last night's game.
Swing away, Don!
Crunch Outlast Pesky BSens
The Binghamton Senators and Syracuse Crunch hooked up in a key East Division battle on Wednesday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. The B-Sens overcame two separate two goal leads deficits, but in the end, it was the Crunch prevailing, 4-3.
Mike Hoffman scored two goals for Binghamton and was matched by Brett Connolly, who had the game-winner 7:16 into the third.
Syracuse never trailed in this one, jumping out in front on an Alex Killorn goal with 10:25 to go in the first period. Killorn took a centering pass from Mike Angelidis and beat Binghamton goaltender Robin Lehner to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Binghamton caught a nice break with 8:32 left, when the Crunch were called for too many men and boarding at the same time. The boarding call went against Richard Panik and gave Binghamton a 5-on-3 power play.
It didn’t take long for Binghamton to answer, as Stephane Da Costa found Mike Hoffman just 24 seconds into the man-up. Crunch goalie Dustin Tokarski could do nothing with it and just like that, it was 1-1. Andre Benoit got the secondary assist.
Da Costa now has 10 points in seven games this season. He has been on a hot streak since he returned to the lineup on Dec. 2. He netted a hat-trick in that game.
With 35 seconds to go, Killorn got his second point of the period when he assisted on a goal by Matt Taormina, who let one rip from the far face-off circle.
Binghamton went to the dressing room down 2-1 on the scoreboard and 10-6 in shots, but did not play a bad period. They moved the puck well and made crisp passes, but were unable to get the shots on goal.
The Crunch turned up the heat in the second period, dictating the pace for much of the period. They were rewarded when Lehner was caught out of position and despite being bailed out by the defense on the first chance, but Connolly got to the puck and put it home, giving the Crunch a 3-1 lead, with 8:33 left.
Despite being outplayed for much of the period, Binghamton got a late power play chance when Dmitry Korobov was sent off for high-sticking. Hoffman set himself up in the right circle and just waited patiently, as Jakob Silfverberg found his stick. Hoffman let it rip and got it by Tokarski, to close the gap to 3-2. Benoit again figured in on the scoring with the second assist.
That was one of only three shots for Binghamton in the period and a 40-minute total of nine, but they were only down a goal as they entered the third period. Syracuse had 23 shots through the first two periods.
With 13:06 left in the game, Benoit jammed away at a puck in front and it looked to go over the line, but the referee waved it off, saying the whistle had blown the play dead. The play was not reviewed and it remained 3-2.
That missed opportunity for Binghamton turned into a chance the other way. Syracuse took the ensuing face-off and Korobov let a wicked slapper go. Lehner stopped that, but Connolly was there for the rebound, giving the Crunch a 4-2 lead.
For Connolly, it was his second of the night and an insurance goal his would ultimately need.
With just under six minutes to go, Mark Stone kept battling in front and was able to poke home a shot that Tokarski looked like he had underneath him. Instead, the puck remained loose and Stone kept poked it in, to make it 4-3, with 5:54 left. Derek Grant and David Dziurzynski got the assists.
Lehner was pulled with just over a minute to go, but the visitors were unable to find the tying goal and Syracuse escaped with a one goal victory.
With the loss, Binghamton is now 14-5-1-1 and they fall five points behind the East Division leading Crunch.