The Binghamton Senators found their offensive touch Saturday night, scoring four unanswered goals on their way to a 5-2 win over East Division rival Albany in front of a crowd of 4,227 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The evening’s scoring began late in the first period, with defenseman Mattias Karlsson putting Binghamton on the board first at 17: 36 with help from winger Greg Mauldin. As the puck rolled along the boards and came to a rest in the B-Sens’ left offensive circle, Karlsson managed to fight off two River Rats and pass to Mauldin, who was skating toward the right corner of the goalmouth. The forward attempted to net the puck over the outstretch arms of Albany goaltender Justin Peters, but Peters blocked the shot, causing the puck to skim along the crease right back to Karlsson, who knocked in the goal for his ninth marker - and 50th point - of the season.
Thirty-four seconds later after the succeeding faceoff, a battle for puck possession ensued in the neutral zone, and Albany center Brandon Sutter prevailed, setting up the River Rats’ first goal. Sutter found teammate Jakub Petruzalek open, and the right wing skated up the ice and took aim point-blank to beat Jeff Glass and tie the game 1-1.
The second period opened with Albany on a power play after Binghamton center Zack Smith was called for roughing at the end of the first stanza. The River Rats didn’t waste time with the man advantage, as center Cory Quirk took a pass from right wing Jerome Samson near the top of the crease and hit the five hole 30 seconds after the period started.
Binghamton would answer back with three goals; the first by former River Rat Marc Cavosie on a short-handed goal, his second of the season. Nearly one minute after Jeremy Yablonski was called for roughing, Cavosie outswatted Albany defenseman Bryan Rodney in the neutral zone to create a turnover near the blue line. The Senator sprinted right to left toward Peters, eventually shooting the puck from the left circle, sneaking the marker between Peter’s right shoulder and the side bar.
Almost four-and-a-half minutes later - and one second after Albany killed a B-Sen power play - Mauldin notched Binghamton’s game-winning goal, angling a shot top shelf after center Peter Regin backhanded the puck to the left wing. Denis Hamel also assisted on the play, earning the captain his 50th point of the season.
At 18:06, center Zack Smith scored Binghamton’s final goal of the period thanks to newcomer Jim O’Brien. O’Brien gained puck possession while Binghamton was on defense and skated up the right-side boards. He passed the puck across the zone to Smith just after crossing the blue line, and Smith shot a wrister past Peters.
Left-winger Mark Bomersback ended the night’s scoring at 10:44 in the third period, with assistance from Cavosie. With traffic near the net, Cavosie wiggled the puck free and skated behind the net for a wraparound shot. Peters made the block, but as players from both teams crashed the net, Bomersback poked in the loose puck. Bomersback’s goal gave Cavosie his second multipoint game as a Binghamton Senator.
With the victory, the B-Sens (40-28-5-4, 89 pts.) maintain a one-point lead over Philadelphia (41-29-2-4, 88 pts.) for the final playoff spot in the East Division. Binghamton heads up I-81 to take on the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Tune into 680 WINR-AM or 1430 WENE-AM 30 minutes before game time for Countdown to Faceoff with Grady Whittenburg, Voice of the B-Sens. Fans can also tune in to B-Sens’ games via webcast or streaming video cast at www.ahllive.com.
Wednesday’s game against the Crunch will also be televised locally on Time Warner Sports (cable channel 23 in greater Binghamton).