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Bulked up B-Sens set for matchup with Manchester

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Forward Bobby Butler, who scored 10 goals for the Ottawa Senators as a rookie this season, has been reassigned to the Binghamton Sens for the American Hockey League playoffs (Just Sports Photography).

They're making tracks for Manchester.

When the curtain rang down on the American Hockey League's 75th anniversary season today, the results of the day confirmed the Binghamton Senators will line up against the Manchester Monarchs in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

That matchup was ensured when the Norfolk Admirals whipped the Connecticut Whale 6-3 earlier today, clinching fourth spot in the East Division. That moved the B-Sens into the crossover position in the Atlantic Division and a series against Manchester, while the Admirals take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL's top team in the regular season.

Binghamton hits the road for the opening two games of the series, Thursday and Friday night in New Hampshire's most populous city. Then the B-Sens return home for the next three at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum — Sunday at 5:05 p.m., then April 19 and 20 (both 7:05 p.m. starts).

If the series stretches to six or seven games, they're set for April 22 and 23 in Manchester.

With their season ending on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators did their part to bulk up the B-Sens roster for the post-season. Defencemen André Benoit, David Hale and Derek Smith, along with forwards Cody Bass, Bobby Butler, Erik Condra, Colin Greening and Zack Smith, have all been re-assigned to Binghamton for the playoffs.

It's a group that combined for 184 games of National Hockey League duty this season, contributing 27 goals and 34 assists to the Ottawa cause. Butler (10-11-21), Greening (6-7-13) and Condra (6-5-11) in particular all made significant impacts during the final 30 games of the Senators season, after six veterans were unloaded prior to the trade deadline.

Binghamton, which posted a 43-30-3-5 record this season, is in the AHL playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign. A quick look at their playoff matchup:

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series B (best-of-7)
Manchester Monarchs vs. Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – Manchester at Binghamton, 5:05 p.m.
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Manchester at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Manchester at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7 p.m.
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7 p.m.
(* – if necessary)


On Saturday, prior to their regular-season home finale against the Adirondack Phantoms, the B-Sens announced their 2010-11 player awards.

Goaltender Barry Brust took home a pair of honours — most valuable player and the Rocco J. Testani Star of the Year — while forward Cody Bass was named top defensive forward and the club's man of the year, a distinction also bestowed upon him by the AHL.

Other winners included André Benoit (top defenceman), blueliner Eric Gryba (rookie of the year), forward Ryan Keller (7th man award, as chosen by his teammates) and forward Erik Condra (plus-minus leader).

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