Binghamton Senators Emerge with 4-1 Sunday Win
November 8, 2015 –
Lehigh Valley, PA – Last year’s Phantoms “Community Man of the Year” was certainly not as hospitable in his return to PPL Center. Zack Stortini scored two goals to lead the Binghamton Senators to a 4-1 victory over the Phantoms on Sunday evening at PPL Center.
Stortini’s day looked like it would end as quickly as it started when Tyrell Goulbourne dropped the B-Sens captain with a flurry of punches in an energizing bout just five seconds into the contest. But after going down hard and being helped off the ice by his teammates, Stortini was able to return to the game and record a pair of tallies by crashing the net which was his most common method of lighting the lamp one season ago when he notched a career-high 13 goals with the Phantoms.
Tim Brent scored a 5-on-3 goal for the Phantoms for his third of the season in what would prove to be the hosts’ lone strike of the night.
The game was much closer than the final score indicated as Binghamton would put the contest away with a pair of late goals. In fact, Lehigh Valley had the better of the play for much of the game and felt there were far more positives than negatives despite the final result. The Phantoms out shot the Senators 32-26 but Binghamton goalie Chris Driedger turned in a 31-save performance to notch the win.
“Certainly our effort was there tonight,” head coach Scott Gordon said. “For 50 minutes I liked the way our team was playing. I thought we had the better of the play.”
“That’s the tough part for us right now is that we can’t get a consistent lineup,” Gordon said. “As I told the guys after the game, these are huge strides. We didn’t get the end result but if we do more of what we did tonight, I think we’ll be alright.”
The battle began with some early fireworks when Stortini and Goulbourne agreed to drop the gloves with the young Phantoms rookie decisively prevailing in his second professional bout while one of the most notorious and well-known established enforcers in the league had to be helped back to the locker room. With a sharper focus on stronger game-starts, Goulbourne turned to the bench after his knock-down win clapping his hands together in rapid succession and raising his arms while the exuberant crowd of over 8,000 fans roared their approval.
Goulbourne is rapidly becoming one of the most popular new players among the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ fan-base and sparked perhaps the two loudest cheers of the weekend home games including his third-period goal on Friday against Hershey when he did his own version of a Lambeau Leap into the side-boards. But the cheering for the bout against Stortini to open the Sunday contest likely exceeded the noise-level of his goal
“Actually, he (Stortini) went after me,” Goulbourne said of his “decision” to fight Stortini. “I just answered the bell. It’s scary to see those kind of things (Stortini going down) but I’m glad he’s okay and it shows a lot of his character to come back out after something like that happening.”
Lehigh Valley responded in the opening moments of the second with Chris Conner’s give across the slot connecting nicely with Tim Brent who banged a sharp-angle drive from the side of the cage off the right leg of Dreidger for his third goal of the season. The 5-on-3 tally evened the count at 1-1 and pushed the Phantoms into the better of the play for the vast majority of the second period.
Kevin Goumas almost gave the Phantoms the lead when his shorthanded breakaway shot blasted off the iron and away. And later it would be Binghamton barely able to catch a break on a similar bounce when Colin Greening’s cross-bar shot would bounce straight down into the blue paint. But Stortini crashing the net was able to push in his first goal of the season from about two inches away to give Binghamton a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Lehigh Valley’s efforts to find the equalizer throughout the third period would be repelled ove rand over by Driedger eventually leading to a David Dziurzynski tip goal on a Guillaume Lepine shot from the point following a faceoff win. A couple minutes later, a cross-ice pass would be smartly blocked by a Phantoms defender but took an unlucky bounce onto the stick of Stortini who buried his second of the night on his way to #1 Star of the Game honors.
The game was the first of a home-and-home series with the rematch slated for Wednesday night on Veterans Day at the Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York. It also marked the first of eight contests on the 2015-16 docket for the bitter rivals. The evening also wrapped up the team’s second “three-in-three” weekend stretch of games on the season.
Lehigh Valley out shot Binghamton 32-27. The Senators were 3-for-4 on the power play while Lehigh Valley finished at 1-for-4.
The Phantoms return home this weekend for Friday and Saturday encounters against the Rochester Americans and Albany Devils. Friday is a T-Shirt giveaway night while Saturday’s game is Boy Scout Night. More information and tickets are available at PPLCenter.com or by calling (610) 347-TIXX (8499).
Binghamton Senators 4 at Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Status: Final
Sunday, November 8, 2015 – PPL Center
Binghamton 1 1 2 – 4
Lehigh Valley 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Binghamton, O’Dell 6 (Lindberg, Greening), 1:59 (PP). Penalties-Stortini Bng (fighting), 0:05; Goulbourne Lv (fighting), 0:05; Conner Lv (hooking), 1:41; McCormick Bng (interference), 3:10; Bardreau Lv (roughing), 3:10; Straka Lv (tripping), 4:18; Stortini Bng (interference), 16:58.
2nd Period-2, Lehigh Valley, Brent 3 (Conner, MacDonald), 1:09 (PP). 3, Binghamton, Stortini 1 (Greening, Dziurzynski), 16:37. Penalties-Dziurzynski Bng (tripping), 0:36; Ewanyk Bng (roughing), 0:50; Schneider Bng (roughing), 7:52; Martel Lv (slashing), 7:52; Gostisbehere Lv (roughing), 11:23.
3rd Period-4, Binghamton, Dziurzynski 4 (Lepine), 14:31. 5, Binghamton, Stortini 2 (O’Dell, Kostka), 15:48 (PP). Penalties-MacDonald Lv (hooking), 15:23; Ewanyk Bng (roughing, fighting), 17:17; Martel Lv (fighting), 17:17.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 6-10-11-27. Lehigh Valley 10-14-8-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 2 / 4; Lehigh Valley 1 / 4.
Goalies-Binghamton, Driedger 4-2-0 (32 shots-31 saves). Lehigh Valley, LaBarbera 1-5-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Jake Brenk (42), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Jason Mandroc (17), Matt McNulty (26).
Friday, November 13 (7:05) – Rochester Americans at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (T-Shirt Night!)
Saturday, November 14 (7:05) – Albany Devils at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Boy Scout Night!)
RISE UP! Reserve your season tickets and groups now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL (4625)!
In the midst of their 20th season of operation, the Phantoms are coming off their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum in Philadelphia before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 19 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).