03/07/2010 8:13 PM
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Before the 5:05 PM opening faceoff on Sunday afternoon, the Binghamton Senators recognized their 2010 Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, winger Danny Lacroix and part-owner Tom Mitchell, for their dedication to the sport and the city. But on this star-studded night, the Sens’ three-game winning streak ended with a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Syracuse Crunch in the final meeting between the rival clubs.
As expected, the game was physical as soon as the puck dropped, as both teams traded crushing hits and several shoving tiffs after the whistles. The Sens first recorded a shot on goal with nearly twelve minutes remaining in the first, opposed only by Syracuse’s three. But after the first twenty minutes of play, the game remained scoreless.
The Senators broke the game open four and a half minutes into the second period. From his own zone, Brandon Svendsen hit Martin St. Pierre at center ice with a pass that started a two-on-one attack. St. Pierre faked the pass and snapped a shot under the glove of Syracuse goaltender Kevin Lalande to put the B-Sens up 1-0.
The Crunch answered back just over seven minutes remaining in the second. Syracuse winger Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman carried the puck along the right boards and into the Binghamton zone. LaVallee-Smotherman fed a behind-the-back pass to center Greg Moore, who wristed a laser over the glove of Sens’ netminder Chris Holt to even the score at one.
The Crunch nearly took the lead with just under five minutes remaining in the second. Holt was challenged by a blistering slap shot from the point. Holt got a piece of it, but the puck trickled towards the goal. Defenseman Derek Smith busted towards the net and dove to knock the puck away just before the puck crossed the goal line.
Five minutes into the third, the Sens went up on the power play. Josh Hennessy fired a slap shot from the point that rang off the post, causing the goal light and the goal horn to prematurely go off. But Ryan Keller was there to kick the puck across the crease to Kaspars Daugavins, who buried the loose puck into the back of the net to regain the lead for the B-Sens.
But it was taken away at 9:41 of the third period off a wrap around by right winger Chad Kolarik. After a dump deep into the Sens zone, the Crunch went on the forecheck. After a battle in the near corner, LaVallee-Smotherman chipped the puck behind the net. Kolarik was there to pick up the loose puck, and stuff it past Holt to tie the game at 2-2.
With one minute remaining in regulation, the Crunch took a 3-2 lead. Kolarik brought the puck in the Binghamton zone along the left boards and snapped a quick shot on net that was turned aside by Holt, forcing him out of position. Moore was in the slot to cradle the rebound and fire it into the wide-open net.
In a desperate last effort, Holt was pulled for an extra attacker. It paid off, as Hennessy fired another shot from the point, this time avoiding iron and finding twine to force the game into overtime with just 29 seconds remaining in the third.
But the heroics ended there, as the Crunch spoiled Binghamton’s dramatic comeback. Halfway through the five-minute sudden death period, defenseman Brandon Bell brought the puck over the blue line and fired a slap shot the ricocheted off the mask of Holt. Defenseman David Liffiton was at the near post to slip the rebound past the dazed goaltender and seal the victory for Crunch.
The B-Sens travel to Manchester to take on the Monarchs on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
-Go B-Sens Go-