The AHL returned to Binghamton, NY after a five year absence on Friday, October 11 when the home team Senators took on the Eastern Conference Champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers. This game became when the horn from the scoreboard would sound while play was going on, than the penalty minutes on the scoreboard stopped working, and finally late in the second period and again halfway through the third period when the ice surface became covered in a sheet of fog. How bad was the fog? “I couldn’t see the neutral zone from the crease.” Said Sound Tigers goalie Rick DiPietro.
The first period saw the two teams start off when end to end action for the first several minutes. Buy the midway point of the opening frame the B-Sens were out shooting the Sound Tigers 5-1, but it was Bridgeport with the only goal of the period. Eric Manlow scored his first Sound Tigers goal.
In the second period things became interesting with a total of 7 goals being scored and the game being tied at 4-4 after forty minutes. Justin Mapletoft added to the Sound Tigers lead with his first goal of the season. The Senators answered with two goals, the first from Jeff Ulmer and than from Antoine Vermette. Jason Spezza picked up his first point of the night with an assist on Ulmer’s goal. The Sound Tigers came right back when Manlow scored his second goal of the night. Down but not out the Senators added two more goals and took their first lead of the night. Spezza scored his first goal of the season on the power play and then Joe Murphy scored on a 3 on 1 when Raffi Torres missed a hit on Spezza and let the Senators advance and Spezza picked up his third point of the night. Alan Letang tied the game for the Sound Tigers with 42 seconds left in the period. This would end up being the last shot on goal for the Sound Tigers for the remainder of the game.
In the third period the baby Senators put all the pressure on but only had 8 shots on goal. DiPietro stood tall in the net and turned all the shots aside. On the other end of the ice Ray Emery who made his professional debut didn’t have to make any saves because he didn’t see any shots. The fog was so thick that with around seven minutes left in the game the referee Dean Morton stopped the game and had the two teams skate around to help breakup the fog. This worked for several minutes but the fog came back thicker than ever. “I couldn’t see the neutral zone from the crease.” Said DiPietro.
With the game tied the Senators only needed 47 seconds in a thick fog before they beat DiPietro for the winner off of Brian Pothier’s stick.
“It’s a bunch of new guys,” DiPietro said “It’s going to take some time to get everyone on the same page.”