Binghamton 7, Adirondack 4 11/30
That's a pretty interesting assessment of the Adirondack Phantoms' effort tonight against Binghamton.
Terry Murray loves when this team has a shooting mentality -- and they had a season-high 49 shots -- but he also loves when they play solid defense. They didn't -- and that shows in the result, a 7-4 loss.
"It's our own fault," defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon said. "It's the team. It's not the goalies. It's not (Scott Munroe). It's not (Cal) Heeter. They did well. We lost some battles one-on-one and we were out of the system. I think we just have to fix that."
I don't think you can take away from the effort Ben Bishop turned in, though. Yes, he allowed four goals, but he made at least 45 saves for the second straight game. They have leaned on him as of late and he has been up to the task, particularly when Adirondack had 17 shots in the third period. The Phantoms, up until the final 61 seconds of that frame, had only trailed by a goal. Big stops from him.
Binghamton went up 2-0 less than six minutes into the game and scored of four of its first seven shots in the first period en route to a 4-2 lead at first intermission. Adirondack fought back to tie it in the second period, but allowed one late in that frame and then couldn't find the equalizer in the third.
"Once they get the lead it's a little deflating at first," said winger Harry Zolnierczyk, who scored two goals. "Then you have to find an extra gear to get back on top. We did that in the middle of the game, trying to get ourselves back and tied the game back up ... but then again we let something break down and kind of gave them an easy one, which was tough."
Binghamton defenseman Andre Benoit had a hand in three of Binghamton's special teams goals, including both of their power play tallies. Both came off face-off wins in the Adirondack zone and the Senators literally needed all of ten seconds of their first two power plays to get pucks in the net.
"They're just pulling it back and shooting," Murray said. "I'll have to take a look at it. The one was probably a screen. The other one was a redirection. That assignment's getting missed right there on the stick. Every time you get a redirection by one of their forwards -- that's the defenseman's job, is to tie up sticks right away. You have to get at least a 50-50 battle on the face-off. You can't lose clean face-offs in your own end like that on a power play. That's maybe a little bit of youth coming into play there, where you're trying to beat a guy clean instead of tying up a stick and getting your d-man or your forwards coming in to help out and find some pucks. We have to take another lesson from that one."
Zolnierczyk's two goals gave him seven on the season, which ranks No. 2 on the team. He trails only Brayden Schenn, who has nine. Interestingly, all of Zolnierczyk's goals have come at home.
"I don't know what that has to do with it," he said, "but I love playing in front of the fans. It's always good to play in a home game, hear the crowd get going. It's always exciting. Try and use that and build off that."
They'll have another chance to do that tomorrow, when Albany comes to town. Prescout: They lost to St. John's, 1-0. Eddie Pasquale with a 24-save shutout, AHL All-Star Zach Redmond with the goal.
Elsewhere in the division, five different Hershey Bears scored as they beat Bridgeport 5-2. Jamie Tardif with two goals and three other P-Bruins with two points as they beat Connecticut 4-2. Chad Kolarik had both Whale goals. Springfield was the only team in the division that won Friday night, getting two late goals from captain Ryan Craig to beat the Monarchs 5-4.
Trenton was idle. They return to action tomorrow, hosting Elmira.
I'll be back before the Albany game with links and lines, as always.
Until next time,