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Binghamton 5   Albany 4

A record-setting five-goal second period sparked the Binghamton Senators to a 5-4 win over the Albany River Rats Friday night in front of 3,723 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

The final score was not indicative of the Senators’ domination after finding themselves down 1-0 after one period despite outshooting the visitors 12-5.

Illka Pikkarainen set up Ryan Murphy in the right circle as he rifled home his third of the year past a screened Billy Thompson (12 saves) for the only goal in the first period.

Binghamton countered with its finest period of offensive hockey in team history as the club exploded for five unanswered scores led by a pair of skaters making their Senator debuts.

Star of the Game Mike Brown, signed to a 25-game PTO yesterday, got the Sens rolling as he slammed home a Denis Hamel centering feed 3:01 into the second to tie the game at 1-1.

Chris Kelly put the Sens on top to stay when he tipped a Hamel point blast past Scott Clemmensen (22 saves in 33:03) for a 2-1 advantage.  Brown drew the second assist on the scoring play.

The dormant power play then came to life on successive chances, the first with Jiri Bicek serving an unsportmanslike conduct penalty he picked up after arguing his original slashing call.

With 35 seconds left in the man advantage, newcomer Brad Tapper cleaned up on a Julien Vauclair rebound at 9:36 to bump Binghamton’s lead up to 3-1.

Tapper then drew an elbowing minor on Rats captain Mike Matteucci at 11:29 to set up Binghamton’s second power play score.

Scott Clemmensen gave Alexandre Giroux a slight opening between the pads and Giroux caromed in his seventh of the season from the right circle on set-ups from Tapper and Brooks Laich 13:03 into the middle period to make it 4-1.

As the Sens celebrated scoring two power play goals in a game for the first time since November 22nd (17 games) in a 3-1 win in Albany, River Rats coach Dennis Gendron replaced Clemmensen with Matus Kostur (17 saves), making his first career AHL appearance.

Kostur would not escape the second period unscathed and would eventually be tagged with the loss on Denis Hamel’s team-leading 15th goal set up by Brown and Kelly with 2:22 left in the second period that gave the Sens theior largest lead of the night at 5-1.

The Rats made it interesting in the final period, despite being outshot 13-6.

They managed to get past three goals (Hulbig, Foster, and Darby) past Thompson in a 7:19 span to close to within a single goal with just nine seconds remaining, but with Kostar on the bench, the clock ran out after the ensuing faceoff as the Sens held on for the win.

The five-goal second period was not the only record set Friday night as the Sens outshot the River Rats 44-16 on the night, the 16 shots setting a franchise mark for fewest shot on goal allowed in a game.

Brown and Hamel finished with two-point nights with each netting a goal and two helpers while Tapper, Kelly, and Giroux each pitched in with a goal and assist each.

For Hamel, his three-point night bumped his team-leading total to 31 and was all the more impressive as linemate Josh Langfeld (26 points) remained on recall with Ottawa.

With the win, the Sens jump over the idle Norfolk Admirals and into fifth place with 37 points, one better than the Ads, and two back of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 2-1 overtime losers at Lowell.

Binghamton wraps up its five-game home stand with Saturday’s rematch with the Philadelphia Phantoms set for 7:05 p.m.  In their last meeting, the Sens coasted past the Phantoms 5-1 in a contest featuring 363 penalty minutes, mostly coming in four separate brawls in the final 3:50 of the third period.

Saturday night’s game is soldout, but tickets are on sale for Wednesday’s battle against the Syracuse Crunch at the usual B-Sens ticket outlets.


[View Box Score]

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