Bears fall in a shootout
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Mika Zibanejad, Stephane Da Costa and Jack Downing all tallied shootout goals to end an entertaining game, as the Binghamton Senators took a 3-2 victory from the Hershey Bears Saturday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Both of the goaltenders in the game were tested early. Senators netminder Robin Lehner denied a drive down the slot by Jeff Taffe with a blocker save, and shortly afterward Dany Sabourin got his right pad on a breakaway shot by Corey Cowick. But the Bears managed to grab a 1-0 lead not long afterward. Ryan Stoa let fly with a wrist shot from the right circle that sailed past a screened Lehner and into the net off of the left post.
Binghamton trailed for the next ten minutes but a tough bounce off the boards behind Taffe left Mike Hoffman with the puck, and only one defender between him and Sabourin. Hoffman picked the low left corner and beat Sabourin with a snap shot at 17:21 to tie the game.
The Senators grabbed their first lead of the night just 2:02 into the second, when Mark Stone beat Sabourin with a backhander off of helpers from Derek Grant and David Dziurzynski.
That lead lasted just over four minutes. Steve Oleksy led a rush into the offensive zone, faked the Binghamton defense and carried all the way around the net and back to the center point. He let a slap shot fly that sailed over Lehner's glove at 6:51, tying the game 2-2.
The teams traded two power play chances each in the third period, but both team's penalty killing units played solidly. The Bears had the best chance to win the game when Grant backhanded a puck out of play in the defensive zone, giving the BEARS a chance on the man advantage with 1:07 left in regulation. The carry-over power play resulted in a four-on-three opportunity in overtime, but Lehner stood tall.
After a scoreless overtime, the Senators then rattled off all three goals in succession, after allowing the Bears' first shot. Lehner denied Garrett Mitchell, Ryan Potulny and Taffe to preserve the win.
After a break for all-star weekend, Hershey returns home next Saturday, February 2, for its first matchup of the season against the Manchester Monarchs.