Senators Top Bears in Shootout in Pre-season Opener
Almeida Tallies First Pre-Season Goal for HERSHEY; Teams Rematch Friday at GIANT Center
BINGHAMTON, New York – Adam Comrie and Joel Champagne helped the HERSHEY BEARS erase a two-goal third period deficit, but the Binghamton Senators scored three shootout goals to skate past the visitors 4-3 on Wednesday night pre-season action at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Senators opened the scoring at 13:49 of the first period. Off of a faceoff win in the offensive zone, the Sens worked the puck to Ben Blood at the left point. His pass across the blue line connected with Tyler Eckford, who in turn fired a wrist shot through a screen and past BEARS netminder Philipp Grubauer for a 1-0 lead.
BEARS forward Alex Berry and Senators winger Darren Kramer then dropped the gloves at the 14:46 mark. The scrap sparked the Senators, who came right back the other way when Mika Zibanejad carried the puck over the BEARS line. His wrist shot sailed over Grubauer’s glove and into the upper right corner for a 2-0 lead at 15:17.
HERSHEY got back in the game at 14:36 of the second period. Stanislav Galiev began the play by carrying the puck deep into the Sens’ right corner. His quick shot from a sharp angle came to Champagne in the left corner. With Sens goaltender Robin Lehner sliding toward the left post, Champagne quickly backhanded the puck in front, finding Barry Almeida for a slam dunk into an empty net.
The BEARS had a chance to tie the game when their second power play of the game was beginning. But it was Zibanejad who found Jakob Silfverberg hustling past the BEARS defense. On a partial breakaway, Silfverberg took a snap shot that beat Grubauer at 18:09.
The visitors quickly got one back at 1:44 of the third when Adam Comrie stepped into a slap shot and beat Lehner low inside the right post. Hard work by Steve Oleksy and Danick Paquette set up the play.
The BEARS then tied it after Champagne slammed a rebound past Lehner at 8:32.
The game would go through overtime scoreless. Senators forwards Silfverberg, Mark Stone and J-G Pageau beat Grubauer in the subsequent shootout, while Lehner stopped Galiev and Champagne and watched Almeida’s shot ring off of the goal post to preserve the win.
The Senators outshot the BEARS 36-31 on the night. The BEARS were successful on all six of their penalty kills.
The BEARS and Senators will play again this Friday, October 5, with faceoff at GIANT Center set for 7:00 PM. The BEARS and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will then wrap up the pre-season with a home-and-home set beginning in Wilkes-Barre Township on Saturday, October 6 at 7:05 PM, and concluding in HERSHEY on Sunday, October 7 at 5:00 PM.
Individual tickets for the BEARS’ two home pre-season games are currently on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.
The BEARS open their home schedule of the 2012-2013 regular season on Saturday, October 20 with a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Rochester Americans. The first 8,000 fans will receive a team schedule magnet, courtesy of PNC Bank. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale now through the above outlets.