KITCHENER -- The Kids are all right for the Senators.
The rookies got the club off to a strong start in this season's Battle of Ontario with a 7-5 victory over the Maple Leafs last night.
That pushes their record to 2-0 at the four-team rookie tournament (they beat the Panthers 4-2 Saturday). The Senators face the Penguins in their final game here today at 2 p.m.
More important than the victories is the fact contributions are coming from the right players.
Jesse Winchester, who's expected to compete for a spot on the top two lines, scored twice last night, while top prospects Ilja Zubov, Peter Regin, Mattias Karlsson and Alexander Nikulin also had two-point performances. Jim O'Brien, the club's top pick in 2005, contributed a goal, along with Benoit Doucet.
"I thought early on in the game, when we needed guys to step up after getting down 2-0, guys like Zubov and Winchester got it going for us," said Binghamton Senators coach Cory Clouston.
EVEN A FIGHT, TOO
Goalie Mitch O'Keefe, an Almonte native signed in the off-season, got off to a tough with two goals on three shots, but finished with 11 saves on 14 shots before being replaced by Kevin Defosses in the third period.
There was even a tussle between Senators defenceman Geoff Waugh and Leaf Phil Oreskovic three seconds into the game. Waugh also received a double minor for high sticking late in the third.