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Syracuse 5   Binghamton 3

The Syracuse Crunch scored a pair of third period goals enroute to a 5-3 win over the Binghamton Senators Wednesday night in front of 3,497 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

The loss extended the Sens’ winless streak to three games (0-2-1) and dropped them into sixth place in the East Division, one point behind the Norfolk Admirals.

Binghamton took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission break as the Sens wrapped a pair of markers around a Syracuse strike.

Brad Tapper sent a slapshot past Pascal Leclaire (33 saves) 1:39 into the game for a 1-0 lead.  Brooks Laich and Jan Platil drew the assists. For Platil, it was his first professional point in 36 games with the Senators.

The Crunch countered at 16:14 on a turnover by Christoph Schubert behind the Binghamton cage.  The loose puck came to the front and Jeremy Reich sent a sharp backhander past Ray Emery (28 saves) and under the crossbar, tying the game at 1-1.

With the opening period winding down and Platil in the penalty box for interference, Chris Kelly came in on a shorthanded breakaway and converted for his 10th of the year for an unassisted marker at 18:26.

Undisciplined play by the Senators early in the second would turn the contest in favor of the Crunch with Brian McGrattan in the box for a pair of Syracuse power play goals.

McGrattan was whistled for a double minor for spearing the Crunch’s Ben Knopp three minutes into the middle period.

As McGrattan’s second minor was in effect, Scott Cameron notched his first goal in his debut with the Crunch at 5:24 to pull the visitors into a 2-2 tie.

As McGrattan was released from the box, referee Wes McCauley sent the Binghamton forward right back in on an unsportsmanlike conduct call.

The Crunch made the Sens pay when Darrel Scoville followed up on a Knopp rebound at 6:40 to give Syracuse its first lead of the night at 3-2.

Denis Hamel knotted the score with three seconds left in the period on a beautiful individual effort.

Hamel intercepted a dump around the boards at the right point and skated past a Syracuse forward and into the right circle before sending a low blast past Leclaire on the stick side to make it 3-3.

Despite momentum from that late strike, it would be the Crunch that would find the net twice in the third to claim their first win at the Arena in three tries this season.

Mike Pandolfo scooped up a deflected shot as Emery attempted to track the original drive and slammed the puck into a half empty net for a 4-3 lead at 5:17 of th third period.

The Crunch then iced the game as the Sens were killing off the seventh Syracuse power play chance with under two minutes left in regulation.

Defenseman Steve Bancroft had just stepped out of the penalty box after his interference minor expired with 1:36 left in the game when Tim Jackman snapped home the insurance marker two seconds later to seal the Sens’ fate.

Binghamton outshot Syracuse 36-33 and went scoreless in three power play attempts.  The Crunch was 2x6 with the man advantage.

The Senators remain at home for a pair of divisional contests this weekend with Albany in town Friday night on Roberts Eyecare Associates Beach Night followed by the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday.  Faceoff is 7:05 p.m. both nights.  Saturday’s game will be preceded by the annual Fire/Heart Cup Challenge at 5:00 p.m.  Tickets still remain for both contests and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling the Sens Hotline at 722-SENS (7367).


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