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Sens Streak Down the Stretch

The Sens (32-30-7-2) have 73 points and are tied with Norfolk in fourth place of the East Division of the Eastern Conference.  After Binghamton’s 2-0 weekend to stretch its unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1), only two points separate third place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (74 points) and fifth place Hershey (72 points) with the Sens and Admirals nestled between the Pens and Bears.

FRIDAY, MAR. 19th  vs. ALBANY (5-4 W):  The Sens battled back from two separate one-goal deficits and used virtually the entire sixty minutes of regulation before disposing of the River Rats on JOHN JAKOPIN’s goal with :17 left in the game.  1st Star CORY PECKER netted two power play markers while SERGE PAYER and JODY HULL registered two assists each in the win.  PECKER’s second goal gave the Sens a 4-3 lead 6:00 into the final period, but the Rats tied it just thirty seconds later only to see the hosts take the game in the dying moments.
Shots: 39-37 ALB               
PP: BNG 2x9   ALB 2x5               
PIM: BNG 8x16   ALB 13x45

SATURDAY, MAR. 20th vs. BRIDGEPORT (3-1 W):  1st Star SERGE PAYER’s power play goal with 7:41 left in the third period led the Sens to their fourth straight win in the season series against the Sound Tigers.  DENIS HAMEL’s team-leading 28th goal and 62nd point came on his seventh empty net goal of the year with 7.6 seconds left to seal the win.  2nd Star honors went BILLY THOMPSON who stopped 35 shots, including 20 in the final period, for his 12th win of the season.
Shots: 36-26 BPT               
PP: BNG 1x6   BPT 0x3               
PIM: BNG 10x34   BPT 11x31

THIS WEEK:  With nine games left in the regular season for Binghamton, the Sens tackle three games in four nights Wednesday through Saturday.

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 24th  vs. MANITOBA (7:05 p.m.) Press & Sun Bulletin Score-4 Fun Pack Night:  The Sens and Moose hook up for the final time this season with the series knotted at 1-1-1.  Manitoba took the only match in Binghamton, 3-0, back on December 10th with TYLER MOSS posting the 34-save shutout.  RYAN READY (1+3) leads all series scorers with four points while DENIS HAMEL and SERGE PAYER have notched a goal and an assist each to pace the Sens against the Moose.  The clubs have combined for just 11 goals in the previous three contests with Moose holding a 6-5 edge.

FRIDAY, MAR. 26th  @ SYRACUSE (7:30 p.m.):  The Sens and Crunch close out their eight-game season series with a match at the War Memorial at OnCenter.  Binghamton sports a 2-4-1 mark this season against Syracuse, but hold a 7-6-2 advantage all-time.  The Sens have failed to win at the War Memorial in three tries this season (0-2-1), but are 3-2-2 all-time in Syracuse.  The Sens have been held scoreless in their last two visits, including the first scoreless tie in franchise history on February 18th.  TIM JACKMAN (2+4) leads all series scorers with six points while DENIS HAMEL’s five points (2+3) leads Binghamton.  RAY EMERY (2-3-1, 2.63 GAA) has appeared in six of the previous seven games versus the Crunch while Syracuse has started three different netminders (GOEHRING, LECLAIRE, BRATHWAITE).

SATURDAY, MAR. 27th vs. PHILADELPHIA (7:05 p.m.) (650 tickets remain):  The Phantoms make their final trip into Binghamton as the teams meet for the fifth of six regular season matches.  The Sens lead the series 3-1 with the only loss occurring at home on January 10th (2-1).  In the most recent battle February 7th, DAVID HYMOVITZ tallied the natural hattrick in a 4:18 span of the second period to lead  the Sens to a 6-5 win.  DENIS HAMEL (3+2) and SERGE PAYER (2+3) lead series scorers with five points each.  KIRBY LAW leads the Phantoms with four points (2+2) against Binghamton.  The Sens penalty kill is perfect in 15 chances against Philadelphia.  Philadelphia leads the league in penalty minutes (2032), minors (541), and majors (104) while sharing the top spot in 10-minute misconducts (19) with Binghamton.  The season series wraps up on Sunday, April 4th, in a 5 p.m. faceoff at Wachovia Spectrum.

B-NOTES: With their 15th and 16th sellouts last weekend, the Senators are approaching a sellout record for a Binghamton AHL franchise (18 by the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers) with four home dates remaining…Another approaching milestone is 500 career AHL regular season wins for head coach JOHN PADDOCK, who needs seven more to hit that milestone with nine games remaining…JULIEN VAUCLAIR (2+5=7) and CHARLIE STEPHENS (3+2=5) are on four-game point streaks…CORY PECKER made a splash in his home debut Friday versus Albany with a pair of power play goals while JOHN JAKOPIN, also debuting at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, netted the game-winner with :17 left in the game…With their three goals combined Friday, PECKER and JAKOPIN joined BRAD TAPPER (1+1), MIKE BROWN (1+2), and CHARLIE STEPHENS (1+0) to post impressive marks in their home debuts this season at the Arena…The Sens scored their 13th shorthanded goal  of the season Friday vs. Albany, good for second-best in the league…Back-up goaltender BILLY THOMPSON is 4-1-1 in his last six appearances…DENIS HAMEL’s 62 points ties the franchise record set last year by current Ottawa Senator ANTOINE VERMETTE…HAMEL is within six of tying VERMETTE’s mark for goals in a season set last year with 34…With two points on the weekend, HAMEL is tied for 7th in league scoring with 62 and his shorthanded goal, his 4th of the year, tied for league lead…Binghamton’s team offense has also crept up to 7th (2.75 goals/game)…Already with a team record 321 penalty minutes, BRIAN McGRATTAN is only 34 behind league leader PETER VANDERMEER, who will be in the line-up Saturday when Philadelphia visits Binghamton Saturday.

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