Even with Robin Lehner and Mika Zibanejad looking on with injuries, the BSens have dominated each of their opponents. While Lehner is expected to star on Saturday night, you have to appreciate the play of Bishop while Lehner was hurt.
With another Binghamton game on the docket tomorrow night, we welcome back Don Rieber for his take on Friday's record setting win. Take it away, Don!
Binghamton ties franchise mark with win over Portland
The Binghamton Senators skated to a convincing 6-1 win Friday night over the visiting Portland Pirates and in the process tied a franchise record, with their ninth straight victory.
“I just found out about it yesterday,” said B-Sens coach Luke Richardson, when asked about the franchise mark. “I don’t hear (the players) talking about it. I think they’re just enjoying playing and winning. We talk about focusing on the task at hand and that’s the next game.”
“It’s a great streak, but you gotta take it one game at a time,” said goaltender Ben Bishop. “We’re not really looking at it as nine straight going for 10 straight, we’re just trying to win one period at a time and we’re doing well so far.”
Pat Cannone and Patrick Wiercioch each had two goals and one assist in the victory and Bishop earned his fifth straight win, coming up with 40 saves on 41 shots.
Portland’s Brendan Shinnimin did his best to spoil the party, scoring a power play goal 6:10 into the game. David Dziurzynski was in the box at the time for Binghamton, called for hooking. Shinnimin’s goal came 25 seconds into the man-up, on a deflection of Alexandre Bolduc shot from the left circle.
The B-Sens answered 29 seconds later, as Cannone stole the puck and skated in, beating Portland netminder Mike Visentin clean, making it 1-1.
“I just got a turnover in the neutral zone and brought it wide,” said Cannone. “I just wanted to get a good shot at his pads and I was fortunate enough to sneak it through the five-hole.”
The first period saw Portland fire 15 shots at Bishop, while Visentin saw 10.
Binghamton got the upper-hand for good in the second period, as Cannone struck again 5:33 in, as he took a centering feed in front from Jakob Silfverberg and knocked it home, giving Binghamton a 2-1 lead. Mike Hoffman got the second assist.
“Hoffman made a nice pass to Silfverberg who threw it to me in front,” said Cannone. “I just wanted to get a stick on it and we were fortunate enough that we got it to go in.”
Cannone showed his unselfishness later in the period when he passed up an opportunity, giving the puck up to Corey Cowick, who blasted one that was kicked out by Visentin. Hugh Jessiman was waiting on the doorstep and put home the rebound, to make it 3-1 at 13:18 of the period.
The Binghamton power-play, which has struggled mightily so far this season, found the mark on two consecutive chances in the third period.
The first one came on a weird sequence, as a Portland player behind the net had pushed it up and forward, causing Visentin to leave the crease. The whistle had not blown, as the net came back down, just as Wiercioch had let a shot go that found the back of the net.
Referee John McIssac originally waved the goal off, but after review, the call was reversed and it was a 4-1 Binghamton lead halfway through the third. B-Sens captain Andre Benoit and Jessiman earned the assists.
Portland clearly wasn’t happy after that goal and things got interesting from there. Bishop was plowed into a couple minutes later by Darian Dziurzynski, brother of Binghamton’s David. It was clear that Dziurzynski had no intention of avoiding the hit and Binghamton’s Fredrik Claesson came to the defense of his goaltender, whose helmet was knocked off in the collision.
With Darian Dziurzynski getting the extra penalty, Binghamton went back to the power play. Silfverberg scored 2:24 after the Wiercioch goal, to make it 5-1.
“I’m gonna have to talk to Dizzy,” said Bishop with a laugh, referring Darian’s brother David. ”That’s his brother, so maybe dizzy can take care of him.”
Cannone would not get a chance at the hat trick, as things got chippy, to say the least. With five minutes left, Chris Conner and Eric Gryba got into it, both getting fighting and 10-minute misconduct penalties.
Cannone and Mathieu Brodeur followed that up 45 seconds later, by getting fighting majors. Those calls ended the night for all.
Binghamton’s final goal was an easy one for Wiercioch. The original shot came off the stick of Cowick and was saved by Visentin. Instead of holding for a whistle, he decided to flip the puck out in front of him and Wiercioch was there to knock it in and make it 6-1.
“We just wore them down,” said Richardson of the opponent after the game. “We’re playing 60 minutes the right way and teams are giving up because we’re playing with speed and we’re playing with passion and we’re doing it every shift. They enjoy doing that and realize that when they do that they will have success. It’s a lot easier winning than losing.”
The B-Sens (13-4-1-1) still sit two points behind Syracuse in the AHL’s East Division, but the Crunch have played two more games.
Binghamton will go for a franchise best 10th straight victory tonight, when they host the Norfolk Admirals at 7:05 p.m.
When asked if Robin Lehner would get the start against the Admirals, after missing the last few games, Richardson was non-committal.
“The plan was to get both of them into a game this weekend, but we always re-evaluate after the game,” he said. “We’ll double-check in the morning and go from there.”
Game notes: Mark Borowiecki was scratched from the lineup Friday, with what Richardson said was an upper-body injury.
“He’s probably out tomorrow,” he said of Borowiecki. “We’re probably looking at the same lineup, as long as everybody’s healthy.”