Robin Lehner stopped 26 of 27 shots and Corey Cowick scored the game-winner as the Binghamton Senators defeated the Rochester Americans by a 2-1 count in front of 8,514 fans Saturday at The Blue Cross Arena.
The game marked the fifth of eight meetings between the intrastate rivals as Binghamton improved to 4-0-0-1 against the Amerks this season, having claimed nine of 10 points throughout the season series thus far.
The loss snaps Rochester’s three-game home win streak and drops the Amerks to 15-12-2-1 on the season.
Marcus Foligno potted the lone goal for the Amerks, extending his current point streak to three games, while David Leggio turned away 27 shots in the loss, snapping a personal three-game winning streak.
Derek Grant and Cowick provided the offense for the B-Sens in front of a solid performance from Lehner, who picked up his second straight win and 12th of the campaign.
Binghamton set the tone early with a pair of goals just 1:42 apart to jump out to a 2-0 lead before the game was even six minutes old. Scoring first for the Senators was Grant, who grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and ripped a slap-shot from the top of the left circle that was deflected on its way to the top corner to put the B-Sens ahead 1-0. The unassisted goal was Grant’s ninth of the season.
The Senators upped their lead less than two minutes later as Cowick slammed home Hugh Jessiman’s rebound to make it a 2-0 game. Leggio turned aside Jessiman’s initial bid off a two-on-one rush, but the rebound made its way to Cowick, who was trailing the play, and he made good on the second opportunity, beating the sprawled Leggio to give his team a two-goal cushion heading into the first intermission. Chris Wideman would also earn an assist on Cowick’s third of the season, which would ultimately prove to be the game-winner.
Rochester pulled within a goal midway through the middle frame when a defensive breakdown led to Foligno’s 10th goal of the season. Brian Flynn was in pursuit of a Cody Hodgson dump-in deep behind the Binghamton net, but Lehner left his crease in an effort to gain possession and ward off the attacking Flynn. Lehner, however, would misplay the puck, causing him to stumble behind his cage, while Flynn continued on and found a wide-open Joe Finley at the left point. Recognizing the B-Sens’ netminder was still out of position, Finley released a quick shot toward the low slot, where a passing Foligno redirected it into the vacated net to cut the Amerks’ deficit in half.
The goal gives Foligno points in each of his last three games, including a pair of tallies in that span, while he becomes the second Amerk player this season to reach the 10-goal mark.
The Amerks will bring the 2012 calendar year to a close on Monday, Dec. 31 as they host the Hamilton Bulldogs in a special New Year’s Eve matinee at The Blue Cross Arena. The contest is slated for 3:05 p.m.