LAST WEEK: The Senators earned one point and begin this week in a three-way tie for first place in the East Division with Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 2ND @ NORFOLK (1-2 L): The Admirals scored first just under nine minutes into the game when PAVEL VOROBIEV tallied a power-play goal with JAN PLATIL in the penalty box for a hooking minor. After a scoreless second period winger MATT ELLISON scored at 13:22 of the third period to give Norfolk a 2-0 lead. ANTOINE VERMETTE notched his 15th goal of the season with less than two minutes remaining, but the Senators could not score with the extra attacker. RAY EMERY stopped 22 of 24 shots in a losing effort while MICHAEL LEIGHTON blocked 22 of 23 Binghamton attempts. Binghamton was scoreless in three power plays and Norfolk scored in 1 of 2 chances with the man advantage.
FRIDAY, FEB. 4TH @ NORFOLK (0-3 L): Norfolk goalie MICHAEL LEIGHTON was once again a brick wall to the Senators as he shutout Binghamton 3-0 on Friday evening. It was the fourth time in his last six starts against the Sens that LEIGHTON blanked Binghamton. Rookie forward RENE BOURQUE and defensemen MARTY WILFORD and JIM VANDERMEER scored for the Admirals. RAY EMERY made 22 saves on 25 shots. LEIGHTON withstood all 36 Binghamton shots to win his 15th game of the season. Binghamton’s power play was held scoreless in 3 chances. Norfolk got a couple of power-play goals from their defensemen and went 2 for 4 in the game.
SATURDAY, FEB. 5TH @ HERSHEY (3-4 OTL): Defenseman BRETT CLARK got the Bears on the board first with his 4th goal of the season at 17:06 of the opening period. The Sens answered only 22 seconds later as JASON SPEZZA put the puck behind Hershey goalie PETER BUDAJ. Hershey scored the game’s lone power-play goal less than a minute into the second period with BRIAN McGRATTAN in the penalty box for roughing. But Binghamton fought back to tie it with rookie BRANDON BOCHENSKI’S 20th goal of the season at 2:48 of the third period. Defenseman JEFF FINGER put the Bears back in the lead with less than four minutes remaining before CHRIS KELLY scored with 45 seconds remaining in the game and Sens goalie BILLY THOMPSON pulled in favor of an extra attacker. It did not take long for the game to end in overtime as ERIC PERRIN scored 24 seconds into the extra period. THOMPSON stopped 28 shots in the loss. Binghamton took 36 shots for the second consecutive game and PETER BUDAJ stopped 33 of them for his 18th win of the season.
THIS WEEK: A pair of East Division foes are on tap for the Senators this week. Binghamton will travel to Bridgeport, Conn. for a game against the Sound Tigers on Friday evening. The Sens will be in Albany on Saturday for their last game before the all-star break.
FRIDAY, FEB. 11TH @ BRIDGEPORT (7:35 p.m.): The Senators hold a 2-1-0-0 lead in the series this season. Their only loss came in their last trip to Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard on Oct. 24. CHRIS KELLY (4g, 1a) and ANTOINE VERMETTE (2g, 3a) lead the Sens with five points each against Bridgeport this season. Bridgeport’s trio of KEVIN COLLEY (2g, 1a), MATT KOALSKA (0g, 3a) and SEAN BERGENHEIM (0g, 3a) each have three points in the series. RAY EMERY has started each of the games and has a 2-1-0 record with a 2.02 goals-against average. Former B.C. Iceman goalie DIETER KOCHAN has started two games and has a 1-1-0 record with a 3.50 goals-against average.
SATURDAY, FEB. 12TH @ ALBANY (4 p.m.): Binghamton enters the game with a 2-2-1-1 record against Albany this season. In their last outing the ARI AHONEN and the River Rats shutout the Sens by a 4-0 score. JASON SPEZZA (3g, 4a) and ANTOINE VERMETTE (1g, 6a) each have seven points in six games. River Rats forward ALEKSANDRE SUGLOBOV has eight points (5g, 3a) in six games. With the shutout on Jan. 29th, AHONEN improved to 3-2-0 against the Senators with a 3.54 goals-against average. BILLY THOMPSON has a 2-2-0 record with a goals-against average of 2.82.
SENS SNIPPETS: Binghamton has played 52 games this season – more than any other team in the league except San Antonio (54). JASON SPEZZA continues to lead the league in points with 74 (23g, 51a). With a goal and an assist against Hershey, BRANDON BOCHENSKI has 40 points (20g, 20a) and remains in the scoring lead among rookies. Binghamton’s current six-game winless streak is the longest of the season and only one loss away from the franchise record of seven set between Feb. 22nd and March 3rd of last season…The Senators converted on 17 of 45 power-plays (37.8%) and killed 50 of 55 penalties (90.9%) during their nine-game winning streak. During the current six-game winless streak the Senators have converted one power-play opportunity in 26 chances (3.8%) and killed 15 of 23 penalties (65.2%).
B-SENS ON THE AIR: All Binghamton Senators games are broadcast live on 680-WINR, a Clear Channel station. Fans can also access the broadcasts online at www.binghamtonsenators.com. Tune in 30 minutes prior to faceoff for Countdown to Faceoff with the voice of the Binghamton Senators, Grady Whittenburg.
GET YOUR TICKETS: Tickets remain on sale for each of the B-Sens remaining regular season home games. Tickets are $15 for the sides and $14 for the ends. Fans can purchase tickets at the following locations: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena box office (Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.), Binghamton Senators executive office, third floor of the arena (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on game days until the end of the second period.), www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (607) 722-SENS.