HERSHEY, Pa. – Mike Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to help the Binghamton Senators erase an early deficit and defeat the HERSHEY BEARS by a 3-1 score on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
After a scoreless first period, in which each team’s penalty kill was tested once, the BEARS got the game’s first goal. After entering the Senators defensive zone, Patrick McNeill launched a long shot that sailed wide of the net. Senators goaltender Ben Bishop came out to challenge the shot, leaving the right side of the goal wide open. The puck bounced hard off of the wall and back in front, deflecting into the net off of Binghamton defenseman Eric Gryba for a 1-0 BEARS lead at 5:17.
The Senators then tied the game late in the period, when Jakob Silfverberg gathered a loose puck in the right circle. With Braden Holtby out to challenge the sharp angle chance, Silfverberg passed to a wide open Stephane Da Costa for the slam dunk at 17:44.
Binghamton took a 2-1 lead at 12:08 of the third. After Holtby came out to make a big blocker save on Da Costa, the rebound eluded him and came out to the slot. Hoffman grabbed the puck, turned and fired it into the vacated net.
The Senators sealed the win with an empty-net power play goal in the game’s final minute. With Steve Oleksy serving the final seconds of a four-minute high sticking penalty and with Holtby off for an extra attacker, Binghamton forward Mark Stone flipped the puck out of the defensive zone, through center ice and inside the left goal post at 19:06.
Holtby made 34 saves on 36 shots in an outstanding effort but saw his record fall to 12-11-1. Bishop improved to 8-3-1 with 20 saves on 21 shots. The BEARS finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
HERSHEY will remain home to take on the Worcester Sharks tomorrow, January 6 at 5:00 PM. The first 4,000 fans will receive a BEARS knit cap courtesy of PSECU. Tickets for this game and all home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.
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