BINGHAMTON, NY – Right wing Jeff Heerema scored twice as the Binghamton Senators squeezed past the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 in front of 4,710 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena on Wednesday night.
Manchester (35-15-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 77 points. Binghamton (17-29-2-5) is ranked seventh in the East Division with 39 points.
Monarchs center Marty Murray scored his first of the night at the 19-minute mark of the first period on the power play. Center Matt Ryan handed the puck over to Murray in the high slot and the veteran stick handled the puck up to the net. Murray squeezed the puck between the right post and goaltender Jeff Glass' left pad. Left wing Noah Clarke also earned an assist on Murray's seventh goal of the season.
The next three goals came off the sticks of Senators players. Heerema scored the first two Binghamton goals with the first one coming on the power play at 2:51 of middle period. Monarchs netminder Jason LaBarbera fell near the right post and center Josh Hennessy flipped the puck over him to Heerema in the slot for the tip in. Center Andrew Ebbett earned an assist on the tying goal.
Heerema tallied his second of the night, 27th goal of the season at 13:58 of the second period by blasting a shot from the left face-off circle past LaBarbera. Defenseman Neil Petruic held the puck in at the blueline along the left wing boards and fed it up to Heerema for the goal.
After Hennessy was pulled down on a breakaway, he was awarded a penalty shot. Hennessy scored the first penalty shot goal that LaBarbera has given up in his career at 3:46 of the third period by shooting the puck into the top left corner of the net.
Murray brought the game to within one when the Monarchs were on a 5-on-3 power play at 7:23 of the final stanza. Clarke passed the puck to center Gabe Gauthier at the center point. Gauthier found Murray at the bottom of the right face-off circle for the one-timer to bring the score to 3-2.
LaBarbera took the loss with 26 saves. Glass earned the win stopping 36-of-38 shots.
Manchester went 2-for-7 on the power play. Binghamton was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.