SILENT NIGHT

Amerks offense struggles in 5-1 loss to Senators

Sunday, 12.23.2012 / 11:03 AM Rochester Americans

BINGHAMTON, NY -- The Rochester Americans and Binghamton Senators met for the second time in as many nights Saturday at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, where the B-Sens scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Amerks 5-1 in the back-end of a home-and-home series between the intrastate rivals.

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With the loss, the Amerks head into the holiday break with a 13-11-2-1 record, while Binghamton improves to 16-6-1-2 and 3-0-0-1 against Rochester this season.

Rookie defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc potted the lone goal for the Amerks and first-year goaltender Connor Knapp made 32 saves in the loss.

Mike Hoffman, Jakob Silfverberg and Andre Benoit each recorded a goal and an assist for Binghamton in front of a 34-save effort from goaltender Robin Lehner.

Senators forward and Spencerport native Shane Prince opened the scoring at 14:31 of the first period. Prince took a cross-ice pass from Cole Schneider just inside the blueline and attacked down the left wing side. When he reached the face-off circle, Prince picked the top corner on the short side with a wrist shot for his fifth goal of the season. Schneider and Benoit picked up the assists on the goal.

Binghamton struck again 90 seconds later on the power-play to take a 2-0 lead. After Knapp turned aside a shot from Silfverberg, Benoit located the rebound at the base of the left face-off circle and knocked it in to extend the Senators’ lead.

Gauthier-Leduc finally put the Amerks on the board with 1:07 left to play in the middle frame, converting a Luke Adam pass from the top of the crease for his second goal of the season. After accepting a drop pass from Kevin Porter at the Binghamton blueline, Mark Mancari slid a pass over to Adam at the left face-off circle. Adam, opting to pass, quickly one-touched it to a streaking Gauthier-Leduc, who joined the offensive rush and finished the play with an easy tap-in past Lehner to cut Rochester’s deficit in half. With the primary assist, Adam extends his current point streak to eight games (5+4), while Mancari has collected four assists over his last three games.

The B-Sens answered back just 14 seconds later as Mark Stone swept in Derek Grant’s rebound to put the home team back up by a pair. After Knapp made the initial save on Grant’s bid from the left face-off circle, the rebound caromed out to the low slot, where Stone deposited the puck into the empty net to give Binghamton the 3-1 advantage through two periods of play.

Binghamton extended its lead midway through the final frame with another power-play goal from Jakob Silfverberg to make it a 4-1 game. With penalties to Amerks defensemen Joe Finley and T.J. Brennan, the B-Sens capitalized on their two-man advantage as Hoffman found Silvferberg stationed at the far post. Upon receiving the pass, Silvferberg moved to the top of the crease and snuck a shot through the legs of Knapp for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

Hoffman secured the 5-1 win for Binghamton with just 1:34 to play on a breakaway, tucking a shot between the left post and the right arm of Knapp. Hoffman capitalized on a defensive zone turnover along the left wing boards, and after gaining possession of the loose puck, raced up the ice uncontested and beat Knapp for his second point of the night. The unassisted goal was his sixth of the season.

The Amerks get right back to work following the Christmas break as Rochester opens a two-game set with the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the second of six meetings between North Division rivals and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK.

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