Anthony Langevin provides a little self-assessment in his first season as owner/head coach/head scout of the North American 3 Hockey League’s Binghamton Junior Senators.
“I love an aggressive style,” said Langevin, a 25-year-old who bought the team from Ray Welsh, who remained as general manager. “I’m not really much of a defensive guy.”
The Junior Senators have the offensive end of the ice covered.
“We’ll outscore teams to the very end,” Langevin said. “That’s kind of the style we play.”
Binghamton leads the Northeast Division with a 23-4-0-0 record. The defense actually isn’t bad, ranking third in the league in goals allowed, but those numbers are at least in part a reflection of the amount of pressure the Senators apply with an offense that produces 7.3 goals per game while ranking second in total goals in the entire 36-team league.
Langevin spent time traveling with the team last season as he was looking to move into his current role. That, combined with keeping Welsh on, has helped hold over all but one of last season’s players who did not earn promotions to college or higher-level junior hockey opportunities.
Two of the returnees, captain Eric Melso and alternate captain Mikey Padgeon, are part of the top line and are ranked among the top three scorers in the NA3HL.
Melso and Padgeon, who grew up playing youth hockey in separate parts of the Philadelphia area, are joined on the first line by a third returnee, Greg Simmons.
They have increased their impact on the team.
“Padgeon was a fourth-liner for Ray and Melso fluctuated between the second and third line,” Langevin said.
Melso, a physical 6-foot, 185-pound center, was an NA3HL all-rookie selection last season with 35 goals and 44 assists in 45 games. After 25 games, he is approaching those season totals with 23 goals and 44 assists, good for third in the league scoring race.
“He’s at his best when he gains the red line is able to get in deep and scare defenders,” Langevin said. “We harp on that at practice about winning battles on each of the lines — red lines and blue lines.
“He’s a kid that just goes to work each and every day, works hard in the gym and off the ice. He’s a tremendous leader. The coaching staff has to reprimand the team very little because he does it to perfection.”
Melso has the best plus-minus (+57) of any forward in the league.
Padgeon, the 6-foot-4, 191-pound right wing, is tied for the NA3HL scoring lead with 28 goals and 41 assists in 27 games.
“He told me in the beginning of the year that he’s never worn a letter before,” Langevin said. “He was a little nervous wearing the letter, but he’s taken it in stride.
“He’s a big guy that leads by example. He’s the first one on the ice; last one off the ice. He performs in practice. We have somewhat of a younger team, but they follow in his footsteps.”
Simmons joins Zach Bell and Markus Cook to give Binghamton five of the league’s top 15 scorers.
“We have two incredible scoring lines,” Langevin said. “Not a lot of teams have two high-powered lines like we do and we have a third line that can score as well.
“We’re three lines deep with a pretty young fourth line that’s still putting up points.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.