In his first game back from injury, captain Denis Hamel scored the game-winning power-play goal in the third period, lifting the B-Sens to a 4-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
After allowing a quick power play goal to Janne Pesonen in the early stages of the second period, the B-Sens answered back four minutes later when Chaz Johnson collected a loose puck off of a scramble in front of the net and stuffed home his first goal of the season, tying the game at one apiece. Jim McKenzie and Geoff Waugh assisted on the goal, with McKenzie’s assist his first point of the season since his return from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 12 games. Waugh notched his first point in his first game back from a foot injury sustained in training camp.
Defensemen Brandon Bell snapped a 1-1 tie with his sixth marker of the season when he wound up from the right point and drilled home the B-Sens second goal of the game. The puck was cycled around the offensive zone when Hamel found Mattias Karlsson at the left point who then dished it off to Bell helping him extend his point streak to 11 games (6+7).
During the waning seconds of the second period, the B-Sens allowed the Penguins to walk into their zone on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Connor James taking a shot from a Dustin Jeffrey pass to tie the game at two going into the second intermission.
Hamel struck with the game winner at 8:36 of the third period, when he took a pass from Josh Hennessy through the crease and buried it into a wide open net eight seconds into the B-Sens’ sixth power play of the night. The play started when Zack Smith chipped the puck away from a Penguins player just inside the offensive blue line and bounced over to Hennessy who quickly found a wide open Hamel.
Danny Bois followed a Cody Bass shot, circling in from the back of the cage to backhand his first tally of the year past netminder John Curry’s blocker hand and seal the 4-2 win for Binghamton. Hamel and Bois combined for the team’s fastest two goals of the season, just 23 apart.
Netminder Brian Elliott turned away 28 shots to earn his seventh win in net for Binghamton. Hamel’s two-point (1+1) effort earned him first-star honors. Z. Smith extended his point streak to seven games (4+4).
With tonight’s win, the B-Sens got off on the right foot in the first game of a three-game weekend and improve to 2-1 three games into a stretch of five games in six nights. Binghamton visits Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow night for a 7:05 p.m. contest. Tune into 680 WINR-AM or 1430 WENE-AM 30 minutes before game time for Countdown to Faceoff with Grady Whittenburg, Voice of the B-Sens. Fans can also tune in to B-Sens’ games via webcast or streaming video cast at www.ahllive.com
2008-09 full-season, half-season tickets, coupon books, 10-game, 5-game and 4-game plans are on sale. For information on ticket packages contact the Binghamton Senators’ executive office at (607) 722-SENS.