C&W Buzzsaw: Looking for Points in Fifth Straight
Binghamton Senators (28-12-1-3) vs. Hershey Bears (22-19-3-2) Season Series: The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
Saturday February 9, 2013
Senators lead 3-1-0-0
The B-Sens were able to squeak out a 3-2 victory in Binghamton in the last January game for the Bears, back on Saturday January 26th. The Bears got regulation tallies from Ryan Stoa and Steve Oleksy, while the B-Sens countered with Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman. In the shootout Mika Zibanejad, Stephane de Costa, and Jack Downing all scored, while the Bears’ Garrett Mitchell, Jeff Taffe, and Ryan Potulny all failed and the B-Sens picked up the extra point. Robin Lehner picked up the win in net, while Dany Sabourin took the OTL.
The Bears will head up I-81 to the Southern Tier for the third of four meetings in Binghamton on Friday February 22 @ 7 PM.
Entering Tonight’s Tilt:
The Bears are looking to continue their streak of points in four straight games (2-0-1-1) as they are coming off a hard fought 3-2 shootout victory over the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland this past Tuesday night. The Bears got first period tallies from Mike Carman and Barry Almeida and got goals in the shootout from Ryan Potulny and Jeff Taffe, and goaltender Dany Sabourin turned away 35 of the 37 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and snuffed out four of the five shootout attempts to secure the two points for the Chocolate & White. The B-Sens, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference, were one of the teams that were greatly affected by the end of the NHL lockout. They have lost forwards Mika Zibanejad, Stephane de Costa, & Jakob Silfverberg, and defensemen Patrick Wiercioch and captain Andre Benoit, as well as goaltender Ben Bishop to recall and there is no telling when (or if) any of these players will return. Despite all of this, the guys from the Southern Tier played a solid 60 minutes this past Wednesday, shutting out the Adirondack Phantoms 3-0 in Glens Falls. Top prospect goaltender Robin Lehner turned away 29 shots the Phantoms threw his way and the B-Sens got goals from Corey Cowick, Danny New, and newcomer (and NHL veteran) Brett Lebda to pick up their league-leading 28th win of the season.
The Bears reassigned three players to ECHL Reading on Thursday, while recalling another from the Royals. Forward TJ Syner & Matt Pope, as well as defenseman Brett Flemming were sent down to the Purple & Black Attack and all three played in the Royals 3-2 overtime loss in Trenton last night. Syner scored a goal and added an assist on an Alex Berry goal to give the Royals a point. The Bears officially recalled forward Danick Paquette from Reading the same day. Paquette had been up practicing with the Bears earlier in the week but officially joined the roster Thursday. He is slated to make his Bears’ debut at some point this weekend. Paquette, who plays with an edge has spent almost his entire career in the ECHL, does have four career AHL games, all with the Chicago Wolves, after his junior career ended back in 2008-09. Paquette will wear #13. The B-Sens signed veteran NHL defenseman Brett Lebda to a PTO on Tuesday and he had a goal in his first game as a Senator on Wednesday. Lebda started the season in Rockford, where he tallied 11 points (all assists) in 27 games with the IceHogs. On Thursday, the B-Sens received defenseman Mark Borowiecki back from the parent Ottawa Senators and they reassigned goaltender Marc Cheverie and defenseman Ben Blood to the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals.
Players To Watch:
For the Bears, watch defenseman Garrett Stafford. He was the frequent healthy veteran scratch for the Bears when they had the extra vet on the roster, but now that isn’t a problem anymore the wily vet is ready to return to form. He was the Bears leading scorer earlier this season and he will be looked upon to anchor one of the two power play units. For the B-Sens, keep your eye on veteran Hugh Jessiman. The hulking forward (6’5", 233 lbs) is now the B-Sens leading scorer by default (8g, 12a in 44 games), with injuries and recalls taking their toll.
Between The Pipes:
There is no word on either team’s choice for a starting goalie tonight, but the smart money is on Robin Lehner and Philipp Grubauer.
Injuries & Scratches:
Solid news on the Bears’ injury front. As of Thursday, defenseman Patrick McNeill (upper body) participated full in practice, while forwards Mattias Sjogren (upper body) and Evan Barlow (lower body) skated in practice with yellow non-contact jerseys on, while defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body) skated after practice on his own. With the reassignments and the recall, the Bears will have the four injury scratches as well as two healthy, one up front and one on the blue line. According to the Press Connects website, B-Sens coach confirmed that forwards Mark Stone (finger) and Mike Hoffman (collarbone) are both out indefinitely. Both players were injured in the January 26th win over the Bears. With those two out of the lineup, the B-Sens will be playing tonight without six of their top eight scorers.
The Bears return to Giant Center ice tomorrow afternoon as they take on their rival from Southeast Virginia, the Norfolk Admirals @ 5 PM.
Jeff Taffe – 9g, 29a – 38 pts
Jon DiSalvatore – 12g, 18a – 30 pts
Tomas Kundratek – 13g, 13a – 26 pts
Jakub Silfverberg – 13g, 16a – 29 pts
Andrew Benoit – 9g, 16a – 25 pts
Mike Hoffman – 12g, 12a – 24 pts
**Photo courtesy Paul Chaplin / The Patriot-News
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs: