04/16/05
BINGHAMTON SENATORS VS. HERSHEY BEARS GAME PREVIEW

HEAD-TO-HEAD:  Tonight’s game is the last meeting of six this season between Hershey and Binghamton.       

SEASON SERIES:  Hershey 3-2-0-0

The last two games between the teams have gone to overtime with Hershey winning on Feb. 5th and then taking the March 18th game 3-2 in a shootout. 

JASON SPEZZA leads all scorers in the series with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in five games.  Leading the way for the Bears is center ERIC PERRIN who has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in five games.      

BILLY THOMPSON and RAY EMERY have split time guarding the Senators net against Hershey.  THOMPSON has a 1-1-1 record with a 2.92 goals-against average while EMERY has a 1-1-0 record with a 4.50 goals-against average.  PETER BUDAJ has started all five games for the Bears and has a 3-2-0 record with a 2.95 goals-against average. 

Binghamton’s penalty kill has been successful against Hershey stopping 3 of 30 (90.0%) short-handed situations.  The Senators league-leading power play has converted on 3 of 21 chances (14.3%).      

 
BINGHAMTON SENATORS:  The Senators were in Syracuse last night where they rallied from a 3-0 first period deficit to win 5-3 and extend their franchise record for road victories to 20.  The Sens have now won five straight games and earned points in 23 of their last 26 games (19-3-1-3).  The magic number for the Senators to win the East Division and clinch home ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs is two.  Any combination of points earned by Binghamton or lost by Philadelphia equaling two will give Binghamton the F.G. Oke Trophy as the East Division Champions. 

JASON SPEZZA leads the league with 116 points and is eight points ahead of Manchester’s MIKE CAMMALLERI for the John B. Sollenberger Award as the league’s scoring champion.  Spezza is the leading scorer or tied for leading scorer in 11 of the 15 series played by the Senators this season.  The only teams he does not lead the series in scoring against are Bridgeport, Providence, St. John’s and Worcester.  BRANDON BOCHENSKI holds a four-point advantage on Norfolk’s RENE BOURQUE for the rookie scoring crown.        

 
B-SENS STREAKS:  JASON SPEZZA is in the midst of the longest scoring streak in the AHL in seven years.  He has scored 35 points in the last 19 games (7g, 28a) recording at least one point in each game since March 5th.  With a point tonight he will be the first player since RALPH INTRANUOVO of Cape Breton in 1994-95 to record a 20-game scoring streak.  Former Binghamton Whaler MIKE RICHARD scored in 31 straight contests in 1987 and still holds the AHL record for consecutive games with a point.  Both CHRIS KELLY (1g, 5a) and ANTOINE VERMETTE (3g, 2a) have points in three straight games.  All-Rookie Team member BRANDON BOCHENSKI has points in two consecutive contests (3g, 2a).  Goalie RAY EMERY has won six straight games and the Senators have earned points in EMERY’S last 11 starts (9-0-2).          
 
 
B-SENS TRANSACTIONS:  No recent transactions. 
 
HERSHEY BEARS:  The Bears were in Philadelphia last night where they were defeated 4-1 by the Phantoms.  Center NICOLAS CORBEIL scored Hershey’s lone goal in his first game after being signed to a professional try-out contract on Thursday.  The Phantoms scored on two of six power-play chances and defenseman JONI PITKANEN had three assists as the Phantoms stayed in the race to win the East Division.

Hershey was eliminated from the playoffs following a 3-2 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last Sunday.  The Bears have now dropped four straight games.    

BEARS STREAKS:  Goalie PETER BUDAJ has lost four straight starts.   

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