03/11/2011 11:32 PM
By Chris Cotrone
NORFOLK, V.A. – It was a game of numbers Friday night as the fifth place Binghamton Senators looked to make up some ground in the East Division standings while visiting the fourth place Norfolk Admirals for the second contest in three nights at the Norfolk Scope. Yet to both clubs, the only number that would matter by the night’s end would be eight: the franchise record-tying number of goals the Admirals managed to put on the board to oust the B-Sens for the second consecutive game. Though the Senators came out firing early with two quick goals in the first period, the Admirals went on to score six unanswered before recording their eighth and final goal on James Wright’s hat trick to put the game too far out of reach for Binghamton, who dropped to 33-25-3-4 with the loss.
The B-Sens had their hunger on full display right from the opening puck drop, as they turned some offensive urgency in the first period into a few quick scores to capture an early lead. Just 4:20 into the first, Jim O’Brien struck the initial blow for the Senators as the winger netted his 17th goal of the season with help from Roman Wick and Corey Locke. After Wick’s attempt on net failed to get past Dustin Tokarski, O’Brien pulled the puck out of the crease and wrapped it around the Norfolk net minder’s leg to give the B-Sens a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later Cody Bass would add his third goal of the season in his first game back in action after missing 11 straight games with a lower body injury. Geoff Kinrade started the play, sending a lead pass up ice to Mike Hoffman who then raced down the right boards and towards the net before leaving it behind him for Bass to knock it home.
However, this would be the only offense that would translate into scores for the B-Sens for over two periods, as Norfolk would hold Binghamton scoreless for the next 40 minutes while netting six goals of their own in that time frame. Johan Harju got things started for the Admirals in the first with a power-play goal, his 21st of the season, to cut the lead to one. Paul Szczechura then knotted the score with his first of two goals on the night after collecting his own miss and forcing the puck past Barry Brust to bring the game to 2-2.
The Senators would see their share of scoring chances in the second, but solid Norfolk goaltending and defense thwarted any possibility of a Binghamton score as Tokarski denied a pair of two-on-one opportunities for the B-Sens and the Admirals penalty kill fought off a full two-minute Senators five-on-three power-play to keep the B-Sens’ offense at bay. Norfolk on the other hand, would manage to net two more goals in the period to push the lead to 4-2.
Szczechura would tally his second goal of the night to open the third frame while James Wright would hammer in his first goal en route to an eventual hat trick, finding the back of the net after the puck bounced off of Brust’s pads and the end boards before landing at his feet for an easy score. Mike Brodeur would relieve Brust following the goal, but wouldn’t fair any better as Wright would go on to net two more before the end of the period. The B-Sens scoring drought eventually came to an end as Kaspars Daugavins managed to get the puck past Tokarski midway through the third, but it would prove to be too little for the Senators as Wright’s late goals pushed the score to 8-3, a deficit the B-Sens would be unable to overcome.
The B-Sens are back in action tomorrow as they travel to Charlotte to take on the Checkers at 7:30 p.m. Fans can listen live on 680 WINR-AM or 1430 WENE-AM beginning 30 minutes before game time for Countdown to Faceoff with Grady Whittenburg, the voice of the B-Sens.
-Go B-Sens Go-