MONTREAL – Ryan White can breathe easier now that he’s finally found his scoring touch.
White scored his first goal of the season and Yannick Weber added the game-winner as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Binghamton Senators 5-2 Friday in an American Hockey League game watched by 13,267 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
“It was really good to get that off my back,” White said. “After that I didn’t have to think about anything, it’s just makes things a whole lot easier.”
Hamilton (7-1-3) opened the scoring at 11:45 of the first period. Aaron Palushaj sent the puck to the point and Mathieu Carle beat Senators goalie Robin Lehner with a high slap shot.
Binghamton (4-4-2) didn’t get a shot on net until two minutes left in the first and were outshot 16-1 in the period.
“In the first period it looked like our guys were in awe of the building and the bounce back we showed after that is what made it so disappointing,”said Binghamton’s head coach Kurt Kleinendorst.“Our goalie made some key saves and we were in it right until the end.”
The Senators started the second period with more jump, and they evened the score at 3:51 when Jim O’Brien took a nice feed from Erik Condra and buried it past Hamilton goalie Curtis Sanford.
Hamilton regained the lead just over three minutes later. On a two on one break, White collected a rebound from a Ben Maxwell shot and beat Lehner.
Binghamton tied the game again 1:19 into the third period. Just as a power play was concluding, Andre Benoit pounced on a puck that was lying in front of Sanford and scored.
Weber put the game away at 12:28 of the third with a rocket from the top of circle that Lehner had no chance on. Palushaj picked up his second point of the game on the play.
“I think I have a lot of confidence right now,”said Weber.“I got a lot of positive feed back after camp with the Canadiens and I’ve come down here, worked hard and it’s working out.”
Lehner was playing in just his second game of the season in the AHL because he’s been backing up goalie Brian Elliott with Ottawa. Lehner was heavily relied on and made 34 saves on 37 shots. Rebound control was an issue however and he felt that his timing was off.
“I rely on timing a lot and the speed of the game was different so I knew I was going to be off in the beginning,”said Lehner.“The experience with the big club was good to see what it’s all about and face NHL shooters everyday.”
Andreas Engqvist and David Desharnais added late empty-net goals for Hamilton.
Notes: The two teams will meet again on a National Hockey League rink on November 26th at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. … Hamilton hasn’t lost in regulation in eight games. … Their NHL affiliates meet on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.