The Binghamton Senators overcame a 2-0 second period deficit Friday night and survived a penalty in overtime, but Adirondack Phantoms defenseman Danny Syvret scored the only goal of the shootout and carried his team to a 3-2 victory at the Broome County Arena.
Syvret, playing in his 500th professional game, beat B-Sens goaltender Ben Bishop, who stopped 30-32 in regulation and saw saw his record drop to 8-4 on the season.
“He plays the puck so well, it’s an extra dimension for our defensemen to get out of our zone,” said Binghamton coach Luke Richardson of Bishop. “He’s just a big solid gut with a lot of experience now and he’s an NHL-quality goaltender.”
Phantoms’ netminder Cal Heeter, who came into Friday’s game with a record of 5-10, played very well, stopping 44 of 46 shots in regulation and all five in the shootout.
Binghamton (22-8-1-3) has struggled as of late in the first period, but Friday they came out hard and seemed to have the better of the play in the first 20 minutes.
Derek Grant took a high-stick to the face from the Phantoms Brandon Manning with 1:49 left in the period. Manning was assessed a double-minor and the B-Sens went on a four-minute power-play.
Binghamton could not solve Heeter, coming up empty on the power-play time in the first and couldn't do anything with the fresh sheet of ice at the beginning of the second.
“We can’t complain about the effort, it was there tonight. I think a little more consistency on the way we played with urgency, we just didn’t capitalize on our chances,” said Richardson. “Their goalie played well and they played hard and then they got some bounces and got some goals.”
The first of those goals came off the stick of Matthew Ford, who took a drop pass in front from Marcel Noebels and beat Bishop glove side to make it 1-0, 4:19 into the second period.
The Binghamton penalty kill showed why they came in number one in the league, as he was getting peppered with shots on the Phantoms second man-up chance. He was there to stop five or six good chances, including a couple on the doorstep, in that sequence.
Brandon Manning would add to the Phantoms lead with 9:27 left in the second on a great individual effort. He came around the net and fired a shot that Bishop stopped, but he fought his way back in front to stuff home the rebound, up and over a downed Bishop. That goal extended the Adirondack lead to 2-0.
Binghamton would battle back with two goals, both coming from defensemen.
The first was a power-play goal from Patrick Wiercioch, who skated in just past the blue line and fired home a puck delivered by fellow blue liner Andre Benoit. It was a rocket that Heeter could do nothing with.
The goal came 29 seconds after Manning took a hooking penalty and pulled the B-Sens within one, with 16:57 left in the second stanza.
The B-Sens would draw even when David Dziurzynski fed Mark Borowiecki, who found some space and let one go from the right circle, with 1:20 to go in the second period.
“I just kinda put my head down and tried to get up ice quick,” said Borowiecki of the play. “A Couple good plays by Mark Stone and Dizzy there. I wasn’t real happy with a play I made on their second goal, so I tried to do something to get the team back into it and it worked out well.”
Binghamton was outshot 18-16 in that second period, but had the momentum heading into the third, with the score tied.
They continued their solid play in the final 20 minutes, pelting Heeter with 15 shots, but he did not flinch, keeping all of them out of the back of the net.
Their goalie played well and I thought their whole team did a good job of limiting our chances in their zone,” said Richardson.
Bishop faced only five shots in the third and made the saves, pushing this game into overtime.
Binghamton looked to be in trouble when Dziurzynski, who fought earlier in the game, took a high-sticking penalty, 59 seconds into the extra session.
“We gotta make sure we’re careful,” said Richardson of the Dziurzynski call. “We want hard aggressive penalties, we’re okay with those, but he high-sticked and clipped the guy.”
As has been the case all year, the penalty killers bailed the team out, killing off the Phantoms advantage.
“The guys are fearless and consistently block shots,” Richardson said. “It gives us a chance to win every night.”
The B-Sens managed two shots, to the Phantoms one in OT, but nothing was decided. It took five rounds of the shootout, before Syvret beat Bishop with the deciding tally.
For more info: Adirondack at Binghamton game report
“I thought we played a great game tonight,” said Bishop. “We probably deserved to win, but you’re not gonna win every game. The team played really well.”
For Bishop, this was likely his last AHL game. He will head to Ottawa to start training camp, likely as early as today. He could be joined by Borowiecki and goaltender Robin Lehner, among others.
“There will be a few guys going up for a mini training camp, some guys will stay and some guys will come back,” said Richardson. “There will be a consistent shuttle all year long, so you will see a lot of players up and down.
Richardson said that there will be a few guys heading up today, but he had not seen the full list yet. The Ottawa brass was in Binghamton to take in the game and make those decisions.
“We’re sad to see guys go because you get attached to them and they work hard,” Richardson said. “At the same time we wanna make sure they’re getting where they want to go and we’re doing our job down here to develop players, not only skill-wise, but learning how to be a good professional.”
Update: @Sensprospects tweeted that B-Sens leading scorer Jakob Silfverberg will lead a parade of players to Ottawa for camp. Mike Hoffman, Bishop, Lehner, Boroweicki, Benoit, and Wiercioch will join him.
That means that Nathan Lawson will likely get the start for Binghamton tonight against Norfolk at the arena. Lawson's only action with Binghamton this season came back on Oct. 20, in a 6-5 loss to Syracuse.
Injury updates: @Sensprospects is also reporting that Andre Petersson is likely done for the year with a hip injury and could require same surgery as Jared Cowen. Petersson has missed 16 games thus far.
One more tweet from @Sensprospects hints that Mika Zibanejad, who has missed 18 games with a concussion, may be ready to come back as early as tonight
Neither report has been confirmed by Ottawa, but the news on Zibanejad is good, because the offense is taking a big hit with all the defections to Ottawa camp.