04/16/06
BINGHAMTON SENATORS vs. ALBANY RIVER RATS GAME PREVIEW

HEAD-TO-HEAD:  Both teams will complete their season with tonight’s game.  Binghamton holds a 3-2-0-0 advantage in the season series and won both of the previous games played at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena this season.  Binghamton has an all-time record of 21-7-3-1-1 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) against Albany including an 11-2-2-0-1 record on home ice.  Binghamton winger DENIS HAMEL leads all scorers in the season series with 10 points (7 goals, 3 assists) in five games.      

BINGHAMTON SENATORS:  The Senators have lost three straight games after winning four straight between April 2 and April 8.  Last night, Binghamton held a 2-1 lead at first intermission, but Hershey outscored the Senators 7 to 1 during the last two periods in their final regular season game.  DENIS HAMEL, BOBBY ROBINS and CHARLIE STEPHENS each scored for Binghamton.  KELLY GUARD started in net, but was relieved after the first period.  BILLY THOMPSON stopped 23 of 30 shots and took the loss.  

Tonight will be Binghamton’s last game of the 2005-06 season.  With a win, the Senators can finish the season with a .500 record.  Regardless, the Senators will miss the playoffs for the first time in the club’s four-season history…Captain DENIS HAMEL is on the verge of a couple impressive achievements.  With one goal tonight, HAMEL will earn a share of the league’s Willie Marshall Award that goes annually to the AHL’s leading goal scorer.  HAMEL is currently one goal behind league leader DONALD MacLEAN who has scored 56, but MacLEAN has no more regular season games to play.  Also, with one power-play goal, HAMEL will tie the AHL’s single season record.  The record of 27 power-play goals is currently held by Mitch Lamoureux (Hershey, 1993-94), Brad Smyth (Carolina, 1995-96) and Peter Ferraro (Binghamton, 1995-96).  With his goal last night, HAMEL surpassed former Binghamton Ranger DON BIGGS for the most AHL goals in one season by a Binghamton player.  BIGGS scored 54 goals for the Rangers during the 1992-93 season.    

Forward CHARLIE STEPHENS played in his 300th AHL game on Wednesday in Norfolk.  Since coming in Binghamton in a trade on Jan. 23, 2004, Charlie has played in all 196 of Binghamton’s regular season games…Forward JEFF HEEREMA has been suspended for tonight’s game as a result of his actions in last night’s game in Hershey.

B-SENS STREAKS:  HAMEL has scored goals in two straight games…CHARLIE STEPHENS has points in two straight games (1 goal, 1 assist).  The Senators have allowed a power-play goal in four straight games.      

B-SENS TRANSACTIONS:  Defensemen FILIP NOVAK and BRAD NORTON were returned on loan from Ottawa on Wednesday. 

ALBANY RIVER RATS:  Albany lost for the 14th time in 15 games last night as the Providence Bruins earned a 4-2 win in the last game at Pepsi Arena this season.  Forwards AARON VOROS and JASON RYZNAR scored for Albany and goalie FRANK DOYLE stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss.   

The River Rats broke a 13-game losing streak with a 5-3 win against Springfield on Thursday.  Tonight’s game marks the last of Albany’s affiliation with the New Jersey Devils.  The Carolina Hurricanes will begin supplying players to the River Rats under an affiliation agreement beginning next season.       

RIVER RATS STREAKS:  Winger AARON VOROS has goals in two straight games (2 goals).  Centers NICKLAS BERGFORS (5 assists) and PETR VRANA (3 assists) have assists in two straight games (5 assists).  ARI AHONEN has lost 11 straight games. 

RIVER RATS TRANSACTIONS:  Center TRAVIS ZAJAC was signed to a 25-game amateur tryout agreement on April 14.  Forward STEPHEN GIONTA was signed to a 25-game amateur tryout agreement on April 12. 

OTTAWA SENATORS UPDATE:  Ottawa was beaten 5-1 last night by a red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs team that is 8-0-2 in its last 10 games.  The Senators had beaten the Maple Leafs in the previous seven meetings this season, but the loss last night was Ottawa’s fifth in its last six games.  DANY HEATLEY scored Ottawa’s only goal, his 49th goal of the season, and forward MARTIN HAVLAT returned to the line up for Ottawa for the first time since injuring his right shoulder on Nov. 29.  Ottawa is currently one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference.  Both teams play their final regular season game on Tuesday as Ottawa heads to New York to face the Rangers and Carolina is at home against Buffalo.   

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