FINAL: Bears 3 at Senators 1 – 3/4

Thanks to seven new additions to the Binghamton lineup, the hometown team gave the Bears a much better battle than in recent contests.

But once again, nobody can seem to stop Riley Barber.

The reigning CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month picked up right where he left off in February, firing his 20th goal of the season past Matt O’Connor at the 8:27 mark.  The play made by Nathan Walker – all super-speed – made for a great start.

But Phil Varone, the former Rochester Americans forward, knotted the score on a power play.

Sean Collins and Dustin Gazley, denied on a nice combination right before Collins’ first-period penalty, would eventually combine to put the Bears in front.  A Gazley wraparound was padded right to Collins and the forward slammed it home.

Inside the final minute of play – and with O’Connor on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker – Collins made another great play to seal the victory.  The winger had Mike Kostka two full strides in front of him, caught him, won the puck battle and centered the puck. Chris Bourque grabbed it from there and backhanded it home, sending the Bears to victory.

Hershey’s speed is second to none, fans.  That is going to be the key ingredient for a good run.  Walker and Gazley, although not the goal scorers, for me were the reasons why Hershey won.  Not to mention, Carter Camper had a nice return in the faceoff circle, Christian Djoos’ had a great return and the entire defensive corps shut the Senators down when it counted.

The official release is below, and here is the box score.

The club is on the way home with two more points, and take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow.

Let’s fill the house and open up some breathing room!  GO BEARS!!!

-Stucc

RELEASE:

BEARS KEEP ROLLING WITH ANOTHER WIN IN BINGHAMTON
Collins’ Two Points, Ellis’ 22 Saves Key Fourth Straight Road Win

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Sean Collins scored the deciding goal and set up the insurance tally while Dan Ellis stopped 22 shots at the other end of the ice, helping the Hershey Bears to a 3-1 victory over the Binghamton Senators on Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.

Reigning rookie of the month Riley Barber got things started at the 8:27 mark of the first period. Nathan Walker used his speed to win a puck battle against Fredrik Claesson, and hurried a pass to the right hash marks from which Barber fired and beat Matt O’Connor short side.

Moments after the Bears nearly made it a 2-0 game on a quick play between Dustin Gazley and Collins, the latter was flagged for an offensive zone penalty. On the ensuing power play, a shot from Mike Kostka was blocked right to Phil Varone. The forward hurried a shot inside the right post and past Ellis at 16:55 to knot the contest.

Gazley and Collins would combine for the go-ahead goal just 2:59 into the second period. Gazley hurried a wraparound shot from the right post that O’Connor stopped with his left pad, but the rebound slid right to an untouched Collins who had a slam dunk from the top of the crease for his 14th goal of the season.

At the conclusion of a tightly-played second half, Collins flew down the ice, beat Kostka to a loose puck and centered for Chris Bourque. The league-leading scorer backhanded a shot into the vacated net with 30 seconds left to seal the victory.

Ellis improved to 21-7-4 with his fifth consecutive victory. O’Connor made 18 saves on 20 shots and dropped to 4-16-2 on the campaign.

The Bears improved to 33-15-3-7 with the win.

Hershey returns home to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow, March 5 at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Individual tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.

 

NOTES: The Bears improved to 6-1-0-0 against the Senators with one game remaining in the season series…Hershey moved to 25-0-0-0 when allowing two or fewer goals…Ryan Bourque made his Bears debut, skating on a line with his brother Chris…Hershey extended its road win streak to a season-high four games…The Bears scratched LW Paul Carey, D Mike Moore, C Chandler Stephenson and LW Jakub Vrana…The Senators scratched RW Zack Stortini.