BINGHAMTON, New York – Dany Sabourin stopped 42 shots, Ryan Potulny collected two assists and the HERSHEY BEARS got all of their offense from defensemen in a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators on Friday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Despite being outshot 16-6 in the opening period, the BEARS tallied the first goal of the contest that gave them their first lead of the season. Off of hard work on the right half wall, Jeff Taffe set up Julien Brouillette at the center point for a wrist shot that sailed through traffic and under the glove of Binghamton backstop Robin Lehner at 4:28.
The BEARS added to their lead when Garrett Stafford scored his first goal with the club. The visitors earned their first power play of the game early in the second period and made it count. Ryan Potulny made the pass to Stafford from the half wall, and the defenseman proceeded to walk the blue line and let fly with a slap shot from the center point that deflected in off of the upper right corner at 4:07. Tomas Kundratek earned the secondary assist.
The BEARS held their lead at the second intermission despite being outshot 30-13.
Potulny then won a clean faceoff five minutes into the third, and drew it back to the left point for Cameron Schilling. The rookie defenseman launched a low slap shot that sailed inside the right post behind Lehner three seconds later for a 3-0 BEARS lead.
The hosts made things interesting when Andre Benoit walked in from the right point just as the first penalty of a five-on-three advantage expired, snapping a shot in off of Sabourin’s glove at 9:02. Tyler Eckford then blasted a one-timer set up by Mika Zibanejad at 15:08 for a shorthanded goal, cutting the BEARS lead to one. But the BEARS held off a late Senators charge and earned the victory.
Sabourin improves to 1-0-0, while Lehner suffered his first loss to fall to 2-1-0, making 17 saves on 20 shots. The BEARS finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS will open the home portion of their schedule against the Rochester Americans tomorrow night, October 20, with faceoff set for 7:00 PM. The first 8,000 fans will receive a team schedule magnet courtesy of PNC Bank, and all fans will receive a commemorative 75th anniversary-wrapped HERSHEY chocolate bar upon exiting, courtesy of The HERSHEY Company. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.
Game Box Score: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1009900