Tyler Plante tried to set the tone early in the game Saturday night by telling Tim Spencer of the Binghamton Senators that no one is allowed in his crease. Only four minutes into the game as Spencer skated through part of the crease Plante gave him a nice shove and next thing we know they’re trading punches. The game was Plantes first since October 21st against the Binghamton Senators when he hurt his knee after being run into multiple times.
He sent the message that it’s his crease, his home, and he does not need anyone else to stick up for him.
Unfortunately Jimmy Bonneau got thrown out of the game for being the third man in as he jumped in to help out Plante, even though it wasn’t needed.
**** UPDATE: All I had to go on was the replays shown, but apparently more happened. Earlier in the play as Spencer skated by close to the net he caught the butt end of Plantes stick. Spencer also took a run at an Amerks player but missed completely which led to Plante making some wise cracks (which he’s well known for). That’s when things broke loose. Apparently some video is going to be looked at as well to see if Bonneau was already on the ice or if he was part of a “line change” to join the altercation.
For the second straight game the Amerks have stunk it up in the third period. The Binghamton Senators took control of the game by scoring three goals in the first five minutes of the third period going on to shutout the Amerks by the final score of 5-0.
Chris Holt was in goal for the Senators in his first AHL game of the season and earned a shutout stopping all 27 shots by the Amerks, not that many of them were big scoring chances.
Mike Duco had the best chance on a breakaway in the first but unfortunately it looked like the puck hit something on the ice and bumped over his stick.
Rochester started the third period on the power play and that’s when things started going downhill. Martin St. Pierre scored a shorthanded goal when he stole the puck off the stick of Jeff Taffe and took over alone scoring off a wrist shot that beat Plante stick side just above his pad.
It only took another 57 seconds for Josh Hennessy to score another short handed goal giving the Senators a 2-0 lead. It was a similar play and looked like the puck was taken from Taffe yet again. Plante didn’t have a chance on the two man breakaway with no one from Rochester in site to assist.
Denis Hamel scored a power play goal making it a 3-0 game only 2:33 later making that three goals in the first five minutes of the third period. Derek Smith sent a hard shot from the blue line that Hamel tipped in.
“The wheels have fallen off,” is how Don Stevens described that point in the game and he was right.
Erik Condra scored the next two goals, one at 11:36 and the other at 12:37 on the power play to end the scoring.
Hockey games are often won by the team who makes the least amount of mistakes. That team on Saturday night was the Binghamton Senators. They put the pressure on and capitalized on Amerks mistakes.
The score paints a horrible picture for Plante, but he played a decent game through two periods. In the third he had no help at all from the players in front of him.
Plante did appear to be favoring his knee during the game, he held on and appeared to play alright. He also did the same thing in the game when he was injured. Hopefully some ice and a couple days off and he’ll be fine.
I’m not sure if teams are starting to catch on or this team has lost some focus heading into the six game road trip. It would not be fair to point the finger at any one player, this was a team loss.
There’s two ways to look at this game. One way to look at the game is that it’s their second straight stink fest in the third period of a game. Poor puck control led to giveaways which led to goals. Meltdowns late in the game are a bad habit to get into. The second way to talk about the game is that this was only the teams third regulation loss in 20 games, that’s pretty darn good.
It was only the third loss of the season but bad habits have started to make appearances and bad habits are hard to break.
They’ll be back in action on Sunday afteroon at 3pm in Syracuse. The Crunch won 4-3 on Saturday night beating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Amerks and Crunch have played five times this season with the Amerks winning all five games. The Crunch will be hungry to finally defeat the Amerks. This could be their best chance with the Amerks playing two straight stink fests.