Photo: JustSports Photography
BINGHAMTON, NY. – Michael Blunden, Jason Akeson, and Kyle Flanagan each scored twice as the Binghamton Senators cruised to a 6-2 win over the Albany Devils in front of 4,637 fans at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.
Albany scored just 34 seconds into the game to take an early 1-0 lead. Ben Sexton beat a sprawling Chris Driedger for his 15th of the year with the lone assist from Blake Coleman.
Binghamton responded after captain Michael Blunden scored his fifth goal of the year and first of the night just past the five minute mark. Blunden capitalized on a breakaway that put him skating next to an Albany defender into the Devils’ zone. Blunden let an angled shot go from the right faceoff circle to beat Ken Appleby with assists from Chad Nehring and Francis Perron.
Kyle Flanagan added to the B-Sens lead six minutes later when he scored his first goal of the night. Binghamton’s newest addition, Marc Hagel, brought the puck around the net in what looked to be a wrap around attempt, but sent a pass to Flanagan who was waiting at the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Flanagan lifted the puck to the top shelf to take the lead while Gabriel Gagne picked up the secondary assist. Binghamton took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission despite being outshot 12-8.
Eight minutes into the second period, Flanagan struck again to net his second of the night and sixth of the year. The forward carried the puck into Albany’s zone and sent a shot from the goal line that deflected at the top of the crease and found the back of the net for a 3-1 advantage, unassisted.
Jason Akeson pushed the lead to 4-1 with less than seven minutes to play with his 100th American Hockey League goal. Akeson released a wrist shot to the top right shelf while moving through the slot with the puck for his first goal of the night. Nick Paul and Chris Rumble were credited with the assists on the goal. Binghamton skated to the final intermission leading 4-1 while being outshot 21-14.
Blunden added his second goal of the night two minutes into the first period with help from Nehring. The forwards found themselves on a two-on-one rush against an Albany player and Blunden sent a similar shot from the right faceoff circle that again got by Appleby for a 5-1 lead.
Akeson became the third player to score two goals in the game at the 8:46 mark of the final period. Akeson carried the puck over the blue line during a three-on-one rush and beat Appleby’s glove hand for his seventh of the year. Casey Bailey and Rumble assisted on the final B-Sens goal of the night.
Jacob MacDonald had one last push for the visitors when he scored his third goal of the year with 6:17 left to play with an assist from Nick Lappin, but Binghamton held strong closing the game 6-2.
Chris Driedger stopped 33 shots to earn the win while Appleby had 16 saves in the losing effort.
The Binghamton Senators travel to Allentown on Wednesday, February 8, to visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Fans can tune in on U.S. Country 96.9 FM, 680 AM, iHeartRadio’s website and mobile app, and AHL Live.
For more information on tickets, including pricing and location, visit www.binghamtonsenators.com or call the Senators front office at 607-722-SENS(7367).
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