Saturday, January 22, 2005

Binghamton Sens 4 - St.John's Maple Leafs 3 

It was nice to be back at the Corel Centre for a professional hockey game. It was even nicer to be able to afford tickets at centre ice, in the lower bowl. It's the closest I've ever been for a game at the Corel Centre, a great vantage point for viewing a 4-3 Senators victory.

The game started with a bang. Brian McGratton dropped the gloves with Nathan Perrott a mere two seconds in. Just over four minutes later, Danny Bois scrapped with Dominic D'Amour. The Sens were slightly sloppy defensively, but Ray Emery closed the door until Jason Spezza scored from the point on the powerplay midway through the first period.

Then, with 3 seconds left in the period, with the Sens 2 men short, Islander David Ling snapped a one-timer home from the off-wing. Then, displaying a lack of both class and originality, he put his finger to his lips to shush the crowd a la Russian juniors last month.

After weathering a few penalties early in the second, the Sens took the lead on a fine solo effort byJason Spezza.

The Sens settled well into defending the lead in the third. They took advantage of a couple of Leafs errors to score a couple of quick ones in the third to pad the lead to 4-1. Although at that point, the win seemed sealed, they would need all of those goals. The Leafs scored a pair of late goals to make things very interesting, but the Sens held on for their 7th straight win.

The game attracted a pretty solid crowd of 14,200, which included of course the usual assortment of parolees from the Leafs Nation mental asylum. Fortunately, final minute of the first and third periods aside, they didn't have much to get excited about.

I didn't stick around for the 3 stars, but here are mine:

1. Jason Spezza
2. Ray Emery
3. Chris Kelly