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BSENS coast past baby bullies 5-1
In a contest that featured a combined 379 minutes in penalties (unofficial total), few in the crowd of 6,101 noticed the Binghamton Senators offense come to life as the club posted a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phantoms Sunday night at Wachovia Spectrum.

The five goals by the Sens were the most since a 5-3 win over Norfolk on November 5th and marked just the fourth time in the last sixteen games that Binghamton has scored more than two goals in a contest.

Binghamton outshot Philadelphia 10-2 in the opening period enroute to all of the offense they would need on goals from Denis Hamel and Brian McGrattan.

Hamel kicked things off with his 12th goal of the season 2:08 into the contest, his first marker in fifteen games, as he sent a Chris Kelly centering feed past Phantoms netminder Neil Little for a 1-0 lead.

The Sens made it 2-0 on a heady play by McGrattan as he took a David Hymovitz lead pass just after stepping out of the penalty box and raced in on the left wing.

McGrattan deked Little out of position and sent a backhander high into the net at 15:30 for what would turn out to the game winner on his 7th goal of the year.

Binghamton notched the only goal in middle period while working a 5-on-3 power play.

John Slaney was ticketed for a five-minute high sticking major at 12:10 of the period when he clipped McGrattan and the Sens received a two-man advantage when the Phamtons were caught for too many men 2:22 later.

Andy Hedlund fed Hamel in the right circle and he found Josh Langfeld on a back door play to make it 3-0 at 15:14.

The Phantoms’ hope brightened midway through the final period when Mike Siklenka stuffed a shot through the pads of Ray Emery to cut the lead to 3-1 at 9:04.

But any thoughts of a comeback were dashed when Alexandre Giroux finished off a pretty 2-on-1 rush when he buried a Langfeld set-up fifty seconds later to make it 4-1.

The game then turned ugly with a melee involving all ten players on the ice precipitated by Mike Peluso charging Emery in the Sens crease at 16:10 of the third period.

Jim Vandermeer and Brian McGrattan were the first to drop the gloves followed by Emery and Peluso.

Following five separate skirmishes, McGrattan was being escorted to the penalty box when he was jumped by former B.C. Icemen Peter Vandermeer.

Peter Vandermeer picked up 37 of the combined 132 penalty minutes handed out by referee Gordon Dwyer in the fracas.

Emery picked up 17 minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct, and was replaced by Billy Thompson when the 10-minute misconduct was mistakenly announced as a game misconduct.

Order was restored for all of seven seconds as off of the ensuing face-off, P.J. Stock charged into Thompson after Thompson gloved down a soft dump-in.

Captain Chris Kelly came to the defense of Thompson and his tussle with Stock kicked off another full scale boxing match with all but Phantoms relief goaltender Antero Niittymaki involved.

The second of four penalty-laden exchanges totaled a combined 77 minutes and featured Thompson picking up a game misconduct for being the third man in on an altercation and forced the return of Emery, booed lustily by the Spectrum crowd, into the Binghamton goal.

Round three commenced just 37 seconds later when Wade Brookbank and Ben Stafford dropped the gloves in the Phantoms zone.

Three players a side combined for 56 penalty minutes at 16:54.

As a bit a of side bar to the third period circus, Serge Payer put the exclamation point on the offensive outburst by the Senators as he snapped home his 9th goal on assists from Giroux and Julien Vauclair with 2:24 remaining to make it 5-1.

The final buzzer marked the last exchange between the two clubs as Jan Platil squared off against Mark Murphy following a Platil cross check while Greg Watson challenged Kirby Law. 

With 42 minutes arising from those two bouts, the teams unofficially accounted for 311 minutes in the third period alone.

Binghamton outshot Philadelphia 26-21 on the night and went 1x9 on the power play while killing off all five Phantom man-up chances.  The Sens’ penalty kill was a perfect 15-for -15 on the three-game weekend.

With the victory, the Sens pulled into a fourth place tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 3-2 losers at Norfolk Sunday afternoon.

The Senators return to action Wednesday night in the traditional New Year’s Eve match with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers providing the opposition.  Game time is one hour earlier at 6:05 p.m.  Tickets are still available, but going quickly, and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Arena box office, the Sens executive offices – 3rd floor of the Arena, or by calling the Sens Hotline at 722-SENS (7367) during regular business hours (8:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.).

Following the New’s Year Eve game, the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena becomes a First Night venue.  Fans wishing to take advantage of the open skate at the Arena that night and the B-Sens player autograph session on the concourse will need to purchase First Night buttons for re-admittance to the Arena.


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