Photo: JustSports Photography
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Casey Bailey scored two goals in the second period and the Binghamton Senators held on late for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Utica Comets at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.
Utica opened the scoring after Curtis Valk scored just over five minutes into the first period. Darren Archibald passed the puck from behind the B-Sens’ net to a wide-open Valk in the slot who then poked it through Matt O’Connor’s five hole to take the 1-0 lead. Colby Robak earned the secondary assist on Valk’s eighth goal of the year.
Alex Krushelnyski answered for Binghamton less than a minute later tying up the game at one a piece. Chris Rumble let a shot rip from the top of the faceoff circle that deflected in off Krushelnyski’s visor to even the game. Ben Harpur picked up the secondary assist and the teams went to the locker room for the first intermission tied 1-1 with the B-Sens leading shots 11-5.
Bailey scored two goals over the middle frame to help Binghamton take a 3-1 lead. Bailey’s first goal came at the 14:58 mark of the period after a spectacular set up by his line mates. Nick Paul took the puck down into the Comets zone and dropped a pass back to Jason Akeson who then sent it cross-ice to Bailey for a snipe over the glove hand of a splitting Thatcher Demko.
Bailey scored his ninth of the year and second of the night five minutes later after knocking home a rebound. Michael Blunden carried the puck past Utica skaters and sent a short pass to Chad Nehring who took a shot from inside the faceoff circle that Demko initially stopped, but Bailey was there to rocket home the rebound. Binghamton took the 3-1 lead to the locker room despite being outshot 13-10.
Utica brought it to a one-goal game just over six minutes into the third period with Borna Rendulic’s second goal of the year. Archibald sent a pass down to the end boards that David Shields took from the right side of O’Connor and found Rendulic on the wide-open left side of the net for the goal.
With Demko to the bench for an extra Comets skater, Max McCormick sent an empty-net goal down the length of the ice for his fifth goal of the year to make it a 4-2 score. Utica made one last effort with a goal from Jake Virtanen with less than 20 seconds to play off assists from Jordan Subban and Alexandre Grenier, but came up short leaving the score at 4-3 in favor of the home team.
O’Connor stopped 30 shots for the win while Demko had 24 saves in the losing effort.
The B-Sens are back at it again tomorrow night, December 10, at 7:05 p.m. against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Saturday is the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night where all fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to throw on the ice following the B-Sens’ first goal that will then be collected and given to local children in need. Fans can buy tickets for Saturday’s game by calling the B-Sens Executive Office from the 8:00 a.m. until the second intermission. Fans can tune in on U.S. Country 96.9 FM, 680 AM, iHeartRadio’s website and mobile app, and AHL Live.
Affordable ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Binghamton Senators hockey are on sale now! For more information on tickets, including pricing and location, visit www.binghamtonsenators.com or call the Senators front office at 607-722-SENS(7367).
Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.binghamtonsenators.com. Follow the Senators all year long on Facebook (/binghamtonsenators), Twitter (@SenatorsAHL), Instagram (@senatorsahl), Snapchat (@bsenshockey), and the team’s Youtube channel (/BinghamtonSenators).