03/01/2011 9:18 PM
By Chris Cotrone
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – After losing their 11-game point streak with a defeat at the hands of the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday night, the Binghamton Senators looked to begin a new winning tally as they hosted the East Division rival Albany Devils Tuesday night. Barry Brust, who was back in net after missing two starts, put his own 11-game goalie win streak on the line as he tried to help his team nab two more points. The game marked the B-Sens’ fifth game in seven nights, and the lack of rest appeared to play a factor in this contest as the B-Sens got off to a slow start in the first before regaining control in the second thanks to a pair of goals from Ryan Keller However, a late goal by Albany’s Matt Anderson would prove fatal as the B-Sens fell to the Devils by the score of 3-2.
Despite conceding the man advantage to Albany twice in the first period, the B-Sens special teams clamped down defensively on the penalty kill to deny the Devils on both chances and keep the game at a draw early on.
Yet Albany would still get the first strike in the contest, finding the back of the net at 13:35 into the opening frame on a goal from center Steve Zalewski. A check into the boards behind the Binghamton net forced the Devils to cough up the puck, but Jeff Prough was there to recover it before trying to beat Brust with a back-handed wrap-around. Prough’s shot couldn’t find its way past the B-Sens’ netminder, but the puck bounced out to the slot where Zalewski was in position to hammer it home before Brust could recover.
The Devils nearly added to their lead in the closing seconds of the first after an intercepted pass lead to a breakaway opportunity, but David Hale’s dive in transition followed by a Brust glove save, stopped the Albany scoring chance.
Brust would do his part to keep the game within reach in the second as well, coming up with a sprawling save to stop a beautifully executed one-time attempt by the Devils that appeared to be a sure score. This sparked an offensive attack by the B-Sens to close out the second period that would carry over into the third.
Riding this momentum it didn’t take long for the B-Sens to finally get on the board, scoring on a breakaway goal from Ryan Keller 0:59 into the third. Picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, Jim O’Brien sent the puck ahead to Keller who was already breaking for the net. Keller corralled the puck and fired a wrist shot from the right circle that found its way past Jeff Frazee low on his glove side to even the score at one.
Moments later Keller struck again, this time with help from Andre Benoit and Mike Hoffman on the power play. A cross-ice pass made its way to Hoffman who faked a shot and dished the puck along the point to Benoit. The defenseman immediately wound up and sent a slap shot sailing towards the net, where Keller was waiting to tip in the puck for his team-leading 25th goal of the season, a score that would give Binghamton their first lead of the game.
The B-Sens’ lead would be short-lived, however, as the Devils would tie the game at 10:39 into the third. Albany’s Dan Kelly skated in towards the net from the left boards and slid a pass over to Adam Henrique, sitting left of the net. Henrique’s initial attempt on net was turned aside, but the Devils’ center persevered and forced the rebound past Brust to knot things up once again.
Late in the game, the B-Sens looked for offensive productivity amidst some 4-on-4 action and raced into the Albany zone with numbers in their favor. Yet the rushed attempt resulted in a turnover that manifested itself into a Devils’ breakaway opportunity lead by Matt Anderson. Anderson dashed down the ice and toe-dragged to avoid a diving Binghamton defenseman before blasting what would be the game-winning goal into the back of the net, as the B-Sens’ subsequent decision to pull Brust for an extra skater failed to force a game-tying third goal. The final score read 3-2 in favor of the Devils, as Brust’s franchise record 11-game streak came to an end.
The B-Sens host the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday, March 6 at 5:05 p.m. Tickets are $17.75 for side seating, $16.75 for end seating. Fans can purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the Binghamton Senators’ executive office or the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena box office.
-Go B-Sens Go-