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Binghamton 7   Hershey 4

In front of the 12th sellout of the year of 4,717 Friday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Binghamton Senators ran past the Hershey Bears 7-4.

Star of the Game Charlie Stephens haunted his former teammates with a goal and two assists to extend his career-best point scoring streak to six games to lead the way.

Stephens was one of six Senators to notch multi-point efforts and was matched by Brooks Laich’s goal and two assist effort while Brad Tapper sparked a 4-0 first period with a pair of goals.

Tapper got things going early on when he knocked a rebound past starting goaltender Tom Lawson (10 saves on 14 shots in 10:50) forty-five seconds into the game on feeds from Stephens and Alexandre Giroux (two assists).

Denis Hamel scored his team-high third shorthanded at 2:55 when he sent a misplayed carom into an empty net for a 2-0 advantage.

For Hamel, who later picked up an assist, it was his team-leading 21st goal of the year and his team-best point total stands at 46.

The onslaught continued at 9:02 when Laich snuck in his own rebound on the long side of Lawson for his 13th goal of the year to make it 3-0.

Tapper closed out the scoring by speeding down the right wing and ripping his second of the night and 6th of the season past Lawson from the faceoff dot to end Lawson’s night 10:50 into the game and Hershey down 4-0.

Peter Budaj came on and held the Sens off the board the rest of the period, facing just four shots.

The Bears broke the shutout on Steve Brule’s wrister from the right circle 1:22 into the middle period slicing the Sens lead to 4-1.

But the Sens would explode for a pair of goals in a 61 seconds span just over ten minutes later to put the game out of reach.

Brian McGrattan squeezed a shot through Budaj (17 saves in 49:10) from a steep angle at 12:01 on a power play for what proved to be the game-winner and a 5-1 lead.

Stephens then scored his sixth goal with the Senators and his 11th overall at 13:02 to give the Sens their largest lead of the night at 6-1.

Brule notched his second of the game late in the period to narrow the gap down to four goals, but Chris Kelly got that one right back, taking just nine seconds to make the Bears pay on the power play with 25 seconds left in the middle period, making it 7-2 after two periods with his 15th of the year.

The Bears scored a pair of inconsequential goals in the third period in a sloppily played third period by the home team in which they were outshot by Hershey 15-3.

On the game, the Bears had the shots advantage overall 41-34.

Hershey was penalized 10 times for 25 minutes while Binghamton took eight minors for 16 minutes.

The Sens connected on two of six power play attempts, while the penalty kill was 1x2 with a shorthanded tally, the league-worst 10th shorthanded goal surrendered by Hershey this season.

Binghamton moved to within nine points of the third place Bears and will now close out the pre- All-Star break portion of its schedule against the Philadelphia Phantoms Saturday night at the Arena at 7:05 p.m.

A limited number of tickets are still available for Saturday night’s game.  Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling the Sens’ executive offices at 722-SENS (7367) beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.

[View Box Score]




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