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.
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, are the reasons why Hershey is in front. Not to mention, Carter Camper is having a nice return in the faceoff circle and is plus-two so far.
I’m also liking Christian Djoos’ return. His patience with the puck is so noticeable and tonight – especially in the neutral zone – he has always been in the right place at the right time.
The official release is below, and here is the box score.
Third period is on the way!
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 Sean 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 Dan 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.