05/01/2013 12:33 PM
By: Matt Borrelli
The 2012-13 Binghamton Senators have been one of the most successful teams in the franchise's 11 season history. The B-Sens franchise has only made it to the post season four times prior to this season and just one time since the 2004-05 campaign.
This team we have here is special. They challenged for the best record in the American Hockey League for most of the year and were in contention to capture its third East Division championship up until the second to last day of the regular season when that title eventually landed with the Syracuse Crunch. All of this, even after many of the squads’ top contributors were called up to Ottawa mid-season.
The playoffs have not gone quite as well as expected thus far, falling behind two games to none in a best of five series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but it’s not over! The B-Sens don’t just need your support, they deserve it. Night in and night out these guys give their teammates and fans nothing less than 100%.
Over the past couple of days, Kate Krenzer (@KateKrenzer) and Cassie Burgess (@cassie_burgess1) have started the “#WeBelieve” movement through the team’s social media. Fans are now able to send words of encouragement anyway possible to the B-Sens themselves on Facebook or Twitter. These letters, posters, pictures, etc. will be posted outside of the team’s locker room at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre during games three and four. If you’re thinking to yourself that the players won’t notice or it won’t help, then you are sorely mistaken.
“It’s awesome,” said the team’s captain Mark Borowiecki referring to all of the fan support over the past couple of days. “Even at practice today there were a lot of banners and a lot of people. We have a lot of guys that are active on Twitter [and they see it]. When you’re down in a series like we are, it’s nice to get support wherever we can. You need that extra push and fan support will do that for you”.
Around the league, Binghamton has the reputation of a loyal and great fan base. Defenseman Tyler Eckford has been on a few teams in the AHL. Eckford has played for the Portland Pirates and the Albany/Lowell Devils during his career and is still impressed by the B-Sens faithful.
“You can’t really say enough about the fans here in Binghamton,” he says. “I’ve never really had that before in my career”.
As fans, your support can really help this team move closer and closer to hoisting that Calder Cup and bringing in back to Binghamton.
“For sure I will be thinking about [the fans when getting ready for the game]…We do it for the guys in here, we are all brothers, but you’re also doing it for the community and fans,” said Derek Grant, the team's leader in goals during the regular season (19). “They have been great all year, so it would be great to bring [the series] back and give them more to cheer for”.
Unlike all National Hockey League and some AHL markets, Binghamton is a small community. The players and staff of the B-Sens are true Binghamtonians. They shop at the same Wegmans, eat at the same restaurants, and go to the same movie theater as everyone else in Broome County. In a sense, they are all apart of the same family.
First year head coach Luke Richardson sees it just that way; “We know we have great support here in our community. I think even days like today when you see signs and people showing up [at practice]. Last night we went to the B-Mets game and there was a lot of support there. It makes you feel like a family in this small community and that feeling really helps in situations like this”.
“The guys love it and really enjoy it,” he continued. “It goes a long way. It makes you push, when you feel tired, you want to do it for your team, but for your fan base too”.
The support the guys are getting at practice and on Twitter, also knowing there will be support waiting for them in another city seems to have rejuvenated this team. Coach Richardson seemed to be excited coming off of the ice about his team's performance in practice today.
“It was great (referring to practice) I wish the game was today. It was really fast, only 45 minutes, but I liked the pace and that’s how we want to play. The guys are feeling good, a lot of hootin’ and hollering out there. If we continue the play with this effort and just take that one extra step and bear down, score a few goal, I feel good about where we’re at” said Richardson.
Keep the momentum going B-Sens fans; give your boys that extra push. It’s not over until the clock on the season hits triple zero’s and we are not quite there yet. You can send your kind words and encouragements to @BSens_Hockey, @KateKrenzer, and @cassie_burgess1 or the team’s official Facebook page. Let’s #BringItBack.