Through fourty minutes, it just didn't look like it was meant to be for the Binghamton Senators.
Down 3-0 to the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins, the BSens appeared to be down and out. But a furious third period rally that included goals from Jakob Silfverberg, Jean Gabriel Pageau and a pair from Shane Prince led Binghamton to an impressive 4-3 win.
For those of you that missed it, yesterday Bill Daly replied with an answer of "yes" when asked if there would be a season. Tough to take anyone involved with the CBA process at their word but that's the kind of thing that passes for good news these days.
Here's hoping they can return to the bargaining table in the near future.
In the meantime, another well crafted post game wrap up from our man on the scene in Binghamton. Introducing, Mr. Don Rieber. What have ya got for us today, Don?
B-Sens Comeback Leaves Penguins in Deep Freeze
The Binghamton Senators rallied from three goals down Wednesday night, scoring four unanswered goals in the final 16 minutes and skating past the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-3, in front of 2,789 at the Broome County Arena.
“The first period we weren’t ready to play the game and they were,” said Binghamton coach Luke Richardson. “In the second when we tried to turn it on, that’s the problem when you’re not ready at the start, it doesn’t just turn on.”
The third period was a different story, as Shane Prince led the comeback brigade with two goals. Stephane Da Costa and Patrick Wiercioch dished out two assists each.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Jeff Zatkoff was rolling along nicely, facing only 14 shots in the first 40 minutes. Binghamton turned the tables in the third, throwing the same number of shots his way in the third period alone.
It was Zatkoff’s first game back in about a week due to injury. He made 24 saves in the losing effort.
“After the first period the coaching staff was not happy and the players weren’t either,” Richardson said. “I’m sure they (Wilkes-Barre) were expecting a blast — and they got it.”
At the other end, Binghamton netminder Robin Lehner was under fire all night long, facing 33 shots in the first two periods and looked for all the world like he was going to lose his third straight game.
The Penguins were buzzing early, testing Lehner immediately. He made a handful of nice saves, before giving up a big rebound of a pad stop that Warren Peters knocked home, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead 5:49 into the game.
After the goal, some pushing and shoving resulted in a power play chance for Binghamton but Zatkoff shut the door on a few good chances.
Bobby Farnham made it a 2-0 with 1:51 to go in the period, ripping one off the post and past Lehner from the left circle.
With 21.1 seconds left, Binghamton winger Hugh Jessiman was checked into the boards by Eric Tangradi. The hit looked good, but Jessiman took exception and went after Tangradi. Both men went down to the ice, with Jessiman punching him multiple times as the linesmen tried to break it up.
When all was said and done, Jessiman was hit with a two-minute instigator penalty, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. The end result was a seven minute power play, 6:39 of that carried over into the second period.
“We just weren’t ready to play in that first period and he’s a big physical guy and he took his frustration out,” said Richardson of Jessiman. “Sometimes you can’t blame a guy, but early in the game you can’t put your team in that situation. Jess felt bad and he’s been a big character guy for us. I’m sure he’ll buy the guys’ lunch for getting that win back for him.”
The penalty killing unit for Binghamton continued their stellar play, killing off all but 2:04 of that penalty. That’s when Wilkes-Barre’s Paul Thompson picked up a tripping call and made it a 4-on-4 situation.
“The penalty kill has been great and that’s sacrifice and hard work. It’s not an easy job, but it sure can be rewarding when you kill of penalties like we do.”
That said, the Penguins took advantage of the open ice on the 4-on-4 and Philip Samuelsson caught Lehner going one way, as the shot went the other and with 14:12 left in the second, it was 3-0.
The B-Sens looked like a different team as the third period got underway. They were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone and were rewarded when Silfverberg skated in and shot one that off Zatkoff got his arm on, but didn’t stop. That made it 3-1 with 16:08 to go. For Silfverberg, it was his team leading ninth goal of the season.
On the next shift, Zatkoff made a great diving save on a shot by Chris Wideman.
A penalty on Wilkes-Barre’s Brian Strait gave Binghamton their third power play moments later. It took just 20 seconds for Prince to roof one over Zatkoff. The play was reviewed, as the puck went in and came out quickly. After a somewhat lengthy review, the goal was upheld and in a span of 59 seconds, it was 3-2.
“That gave us a lift and I think it took a little bit of the wind out of their sails,” said Richardson of the second goal. “We kept the momentum building and played a real solid third period.”
Patrick Wiercioch got things started on the tying goal for Binghamton, when he let a low shot go from the slot that Zatkoff looked to have a play on, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau tipped it home, making it 3-3 with 4:42 left.
“Pageau has been a real solid player for us all year,” said Richardson. “His role offensively diminished a bit to more of a defensive and penalty killing role, but he works his butt off and I was really happy to see him get that goal.”
Prince got the game winner 1:57 later when Cole Schneider sent a backhand pass onto his stick and he shot it by Zatkoff, making it 4-3 and completing the B-Sens improbable comeback and sending the Penguins to their sixth straight loss (0-4-1-1).
He can really snap the puck home,” said Richardson of Prince. “You know if he gets to that slot area, where he scored both goals, he can rip it home.”
For Binghamton this is their second win in a row over Wilkes-Barre. Binghamton came away with a 3-1 win last Friday.
“This win says a lot,” Prince said. “Not many teams would be able to come back from a 3-0 deficit like that. It feels good to help out the team, especially in a game like that. It’s awesome for our boys to come out in the third like that.”
“It’s a character win, they deserve the credit,” Richardson said after Wednesday’s game. “It’s not always gonna be there. There’s still a lesson to be learned in not being prepared and ready to play at the start of the game and we talked about it briefly after the game, but they wanted to celebrate and they deserve to do that.”
Lehner bounced back to finish with 36 saves and moves to 9-4-1 on the season. Zatkoff dropped to 10-7.