01/29/2011 1:04 AM
By Chris Cotrone
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Hershey Bears made their final trip of the regular season to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Friday night, having lost the previous two meetings there against the Binghamton Senators. Cognizant that the Bears would be motivated to end the losing streak, Binghamton head coach Kurt Kleinendorst maintained that his team would be focusing on finishing the week on strong note as the B-Sens currently sit in position to make the playoffs. Yet, despite playing hard, the B-Sens were unable to overcome a late Hershey goal and ultimately fell to the East Division rival Bears by the score of 3-2.
Just 4:28 into the first period, Hershey’s Boyd Kane snapped a quick shot from the right circle that cleanly beat Mike Brodeur to give the defending Calder Cup champion Bears an early 1-0 lead.
All-star bound rookie forward Bobby Butler tied the score 1-1 with just 3:35 remaining in the opening period. After controlling a rebound wide left of the net, Butler smoked a shot that beat the Bears’ Braden Holtby top shelf to put the B-Sens on the board.
The B-Sens grabbed their first lead of the game not four minutes into the second period with a quick goal at the hands of Kaspars Daugavins. Andre Benoit’s long shot from beyond the left circle missed its mark but Daugavins, who was sitting with his back to the net, corralled the puck, turned and fired a wrist shot over Holtby’s right shoulder to put the B-Sens up 2-1.
The Bears would answer back with 10:25 left to play in the second on a power play goal from winger Brian Willsie. Receiving the puck in the neutral zone, Willsie raced down the left boards and challenged the lone B-Sen between him and the net before burying a lethal backhand clean over Brodeur’s right shoulder to bring the game back to a stalemate.
An elbowing penalty issued to Jim O’ Brien left the B-Sens down a man for five minutes between the second and third periods, but the Binghamton penalty kill unit worked hard to preserve the lead and swing momentum back in their favor. However, the B-Sens’ few scoring chances in the third would be thwarted by the quick pads of Holtby.
The East Division rivals remained locked in a draw until Hershey’s Kyle Greentree found the back of the net on a pass from Sheldon Souray, with just 2:39 remaining in the contest. In a desperate attempt to send the game to overtime, the B-Sens pulled Brodeur for an extra attacker but it was to no avail as the Bears walked away with the 3-2 victory.
The Binghamton Senators will be back at home tomorrow to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Tomorrow is Public Safety Night and features a special 4:30 p.m. match-up on the ice between the Binghamton police and fire departments and the Wilkes-Barre area police and fire departments. For $15 fans receive admission to both games and a portion of each ticket sold will go to benefit the American Heart Association. To reserve your seat, fans can contact the Binghamton Senators executive office beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow at 607-722-7367.
-Go B-Sens Go-