The Hershey Bears (35-31-3-6) missed out on a chance to earn a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs starting next week, but they were bounced by the Binghamton Senators (43-24-1-7) on the road Saturday night. Forwards Garrett Mitchell and Casey Wellman tallied goals for the Chocolate and White, but two penalties from defenseman Cameron Schilling and center Michael Latta over a span of three seconds proved costly.
Binghamton scored the winning goal on the resulting five-on-three power play, as the Senators’ man advantage unit made the most of their opportunities, scoring on two of three power plays. Wellman scored the Bears lone power play goal in three chances.
Hershey goalie Philipp Grubauer made another start between the pipes for the Bears, recording 20 saves on 23 shots. He was opposed by Senators goaltender Marc Cheverie, who totaled 24 saves on 26 shots.
Bears forward Garrett Mitchell played a huge game for Hershey, recording four shots on goal in the game along with his late third period goal and fight 7:37 into the first period. Hershey Captain Boyd Kane was the only Bears player to receive a plus rating in the game, along with an assist on Mitchell’s goal and two shots on net.
The Chocolate and White received crucial help in the Eastern Conference standings as both the Connecticut Whale and Norfolk Admirals lost. Hershey currently sits eighth in the Conference, as two other teams are in contention for the final playoff spot.
Norfolk has one game remaining against Providence tomorrow, but Hershey holds the tie breaker over the Admirals. Connecticut’s season has concluded, but if both Norfolk and the Bears lose tomorrow, the Whale would enter the Calder Cup playoffs as the eighth seed out of the Eastern Conference.
It will be sure to be a playoff atmosphere tomorrow night at Giant Center as Hershey faces the already bound Manchester Monarchs, as the Bears play with their season on the line.