The Last time that the Hershey Bears and Binghamton Senators met was back on October 15th. It was only the third game of the season for Hershey, and their offense stormed to a 7-1 win in Binghamton. Coming into Sunday’s game, Hershey stood alone at fourth in the East Division with 17 points, while the B-Sens were right behind them with 16 points.
Referee Jamie Koharski dropped the puck at center and the Bears were off and running early. Andrew Gordon tipped a loose puck behind Senators netminder Barry Brust and the Bears led 1-0 on their first shot of the game.
Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov, who was making a rehab start for Hershey, only faced two shots from the Sens in the first seven minutes and denied them both.
It wouldn’t take long for the Bears to find the back of the net again, as Gordon scored his second of the game off a quick tic-tac-toe play in front of the net with 11:20 left in the stanza. Just 25 seconds later, Brian Willsie added his first goal of the game on a feed from Gordon.
Just 1:25 later, Steve Pinizzotto added to the lead with a goal. The Bears broke their season record for most goals in a period. The Senator’s hibernating defense continued, and with 2:55 remaining in the period, Willsie scored his second of the game on a slap shot from the point. A power play goal and the lead was now six for the Chocolate and White going into intermission.
The Bears out-shot the B-Sens 15-6. Brust gave up all six goals in net. All period Hershey owned the middle of the ice in the offensive end. The loose Binghamton defense aloud passes across the ice, and point-blank shots on net.
As the second period got underway, the Senators found themselves in penalty trouble. A delay of game penalty to Bobby Butler paved the way for the Bears’ seventh goal, from Kyle Greentree on a shot that meant to be a pass across that deflected in off a defender and past Barry Brust. However, the Senators finally got on the board with a power play goal, 10:29 into the period. Jim O’Brien in close on Varlamov snapped a shot by him to make it a 7-1 just past the midway point.
The Senators faced a late period 5-on-3 power play, and Zack Smith slam-dunked a cross-ice feed for his first goal of the season. 7-2 was the score at second intermission, as Hershey fired eight shots in the period on Brust. He stopped seven of eight shots, while Varlamov who stopped eight of ten Senator shots. After two periods, the Bears were out-shooting the Sens 23-16.
The third period featured open play on both ends of the ice. After the first, Binghamton had done a much better job taking away the passing lanes for Hershey. The defense also stepped up by not allowing point-blank chances. With the Bear’s offense held in check, at 8:27 of the third period, Derek Smith tallied for Binghamton to make it a 7-3 game.
However, Hershey would pull further away with a goal by Lawrence Nycholat with only 6:40 remaining. 8-3 Hershey would be the final score at the Giant Center, as the crowd of 7,555 erupted when the clock hit all zeros. The shot totals concluded with the Bears on top 36-24. Both teams also finished the game 2-for-6 on the power play.
Hershey and Binghamton are back in action again on Friday night. They face each other for the second time in Binghamton, New York. Puck drop is at 7:05 P.M. in Binghamton.