HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonight’s game is the eighth and final meeting between the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, and the Binghamton Senators. The Senators broke through with their first victory of year over Hershey on Wednesday, April 4. Brian Elliott Elliott stopped 40 shots on the night, while winger Jeff Heerema powered the Senators offensive attack with two markers. Heerema buried his 31st marker of the season midway through the second period. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Josh Hennessy chased a Hershey defenseman behind the net and Jeff Heerema raced in from the left boards to intercept the puck just outside the crease. Heerema tapped it by Frederic Cassivi to give the Senators a 1-0 lead. Heerema broke the 1-1 tie in final minute of the second stanza. Following a face off in the Hershey zone, Heerema gathered a loose puck which had bounced off Cassivi’s pads and tapped it into the corner of the net to make a 2-1 contest. Elliott made 30 saves in the first two periods. The Bears were threatening on the power play late in the third period when rookie Andrew Ebbett stole the puck in the Binghamton zone and raced down the ice, weaving around a Hershey defenseman. Ebbett’s initial shot was stopped, but Ebbett followed the rebound behind the cage and snapped a shot at Cassivi’s skates. The puck bounced off of Cassivi’s skates and into the net for Ebbett’s fifth short-handed marker this season. Winger Danny Bois, who missed the previous two games with a neck injury, finished the scoring with a late-empty netter to give the Senators a 4-1 win. Ebbett had two points (1+1=2) on the night, while Charlie Cook and Josh Hennessy added helpers. Leading scorer Jeff Heerema has four goals and a +3 rating in six games against Hershey this year.
BINGHAMTON SENATORS: The Senators snapped a three-game skid last night in Albany, as the club battled back from an early 3-1 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime at the Times Union Center. 18-year-old rookie Kaspars Daugavins buried his first two professional markers, including the game-winner at 2:13 of overtime, to lead the Senators to victory. Two days after Albany held Binghamton scoreless; the Senators offense came to life. Charlie Cook, Jeff Heerema, and Arttu Luttinen all buried markers, while Andrew Ebbett collected three assists for the second time this season. Defenseman Terry Virtue added two helpers as well. The Senators outshot the River Rats 39-25. With Virtue’s two assists last night, the veteran defenseman has 299 AHL helpers. Charlie Cook collected his fourth two-point night of the season last night, with a goal and an assist. The defenseman has eight points (3+5=8) over his last seven games. Tonight’s game against Hershey is the 400th regular season AHL game in Binghamton Senators’ franchise history.
B-SENS STREAKS: None
B-SENS TRANSACTIONS: None
HERSHEY BEARS: The Bears clinched the club's first division title since 1994, and also claimed home-ice throughout the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs with a commanding 6-1 win over rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night. The Bears put it away early with five first period goals. Kyle Wilson opened the scoring with his 24th goal of the season on a rebound of an Andy Hedlund shot in the slot. Dave Steckel then picked up a short-handed goal at 6:02 of the first when he picked away a puck from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Micki Dupont. The goal for Steckel was his 30th of the season. After the Pens pulled within one with a goal from Robert Nilsson, the Bears took over and built up a four-goal lead by intermission. Tomas Fleischmann tipped in a Mike Green shot for his 22nd goal of the season at 9:08 prior to Scott Barney scoring his 10th of the season from Joey Tenute and Matt Hendricks at 10:03. Later in the period, Tenute would add a goal of his own when he roofed a shot past Wilkes-Barre’s Nolan Schaefer at 15:54. On the strength of 14 first period shots, the Bears took a 5-1 lead to the dressing room after one. Wilson finished off the scoring in the final minute of the second period with his second marker of the night.
BEARS STREAKS: Dave Steckel has an eleven-game point streak (6+9=15). Jakub Klepis has a nine-game point streak (3+9=12). Kyle Wilson has a four-game point streak (4+3=7). Tomas Fleischmann has a four-game point streak (3+3=6). Scott Barney has a three-game point streak (3+2=5). Stephen Werner has a two-game point streak (1+1=2).
BEARS TRANSACTIONS: Goalie Daren Machesney was reassigned by Washington (NHL) from South Carolina (ECHL) on Tuesday. Defenseman Marc Busenburg was recalled from loan to South Carolina (ECHL) on Tuesday.
OTTAWA SENATORS UPDATE: The Ottawa Senators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Eastern Conference first-round series. Former Binghamton Senators’ netminder Ray Emery stopped 23 shots in the victory, while Ottawa’s six goals came from six different players in the convincing team win. The Senators held superstar Sidney Crosby to one point (1+0=1) on the night. Ottawa looks to secure a 2-0 series advantage when the two teams meet this afternoon at Scotiabank Place.
AROUND THE AHL…
LISTEN LIVE: Catch all the action LIVE on Q107 FM (106.7, 101.3 or 104.5), via webcast or B2 Networks streaming video cast at www.binghamtonsenators.com, and now the downtown Binghamton frequency (101.3) is broadcasting! Tune in as Grady Whittenburg, “Voice of the B-Sens,” calls the game.