Bishop wins in Senators debut
Former Tornado goaltender Ben Bishop had appeared in 13 NHL games before Tuesday, all of them with the St. Louis Blues. But after being promoted from the Binghamton Senators of the AHL yesterday, the 6’7” netminder took the ice for the first time as a member of the team’s parent club, the Ottawa Senators, last night. He allowed three goals, but picked up his fifth career NHL victory in Ottawa’s 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We’re proud of Ben for what he’s been able to accomplish since he left the Tornado,” Tornado head coach and general manager Tony Curtale said. “One of our goals as an organization is to prepare players for success at the next level and Ben is a shining example of that.”
Bishop played for the Tornado in 2004-2005, immediately following the conclusion of his youth hockey career in the St. Louis-area. In his one season with Texas, he turned in one of the best goaltending years in franchise history. In 45 games, Bishop went 35-8-0 with a 1.93 GAA and .920 SV%. After his one season in Frisco, Bishop was drafted by St. Louis in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft by St Louis. He opted to attend the University of Maine before starting his pro career and enjoyed a solid three years with the Black Bears.
Bishop made his NHL debut with the Blues in October of 2008 and split time with St. Louis and Peoria, the Blues’ AHL affiliate, over the next four seasons. But an opportunity for more NHL playing time presented itself earlier this season when the Senators, dealing with a hand injury to starting goaltender Craig Anderson, made a trade to acquire Bishop on February 27th.
Alex Auld and Robin Lehner have also played in goal for the Senators since the trade for Bishop. With Auld playing on a one-way contract, Lehner and Bishop are expected to go back and forth between Binghamton and Ottawa the rest of the season. But with the Senators currently sitting in 7th place in the Eastern Conference and Anderson out indefinitely, each win increases Bishop’s chance of remaining with the team through the rest of the season, and beyond.