BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Hershey Bears got all of their offense in the second period, scoring six times on seven shots, and went on to a 6-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators on Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The first period ended scoreless and without a penalty called, with a big shift in momentum taking place. Binghamton jumped out to a 5-0 shot lead, but the Bears turned up the pressure late and outshot the Senators 8-5 over the last half of the frame. Goaltenders Dan Ellis and Matt O’Connor kept their respective creases clean.
But the Bears began their blitz 2:29 into the middle period. Nathan Walker fired a cross-ice pass to Riley Barber, allowing the rookie to one-time the puck past O’Connor for his fourth goal in his last four periods and 12th of the season.
Jakub Vrana made it a 2-0 game when he buried a shot past O’Connor from the bottom of the right circle, after Carter Camper made a beautiful pass across the crease to find Vrana.
Halfway through the period, the Bears took a Senators neutral-zone turnover and turned it into a three-on-two rush from the blue line. Chris Bourque chipped a pass down the right side for Travis Boyd, who looked in front and found a driving Sean Collins for a redirection inside the left post and a 3-0 lead.
2:29 later, Camper collected a bouncing pass from Vrana after the Senators turned the puck over in the left corner, looked through traffic and beat O’Connor to the glove side, giving the Bears a 4-0 edge.
Scott Gomez tallied his second point of the night when Barber laid a perfect cross-zone pass onto the veteran’s stick. Gomez’s one-timer eluded O’Connor at 13:58 for a 5-0 lead.
The Bears continued the onslaught on Binghamton’s second power play of the period. Chandler Stephenson forced Ryan Dzingel into a turnover at the offensive blue line and took off two-on-one with Garrett Mitchell. Stephenson used Mitchell as a decoy, waited for O’Connor to commit and snapped a shot inside the left post at 15:03.
O’Connor would make one more save before the period expired and was replaced in the third period by Chris Driedger. The Senators backup stopped all six shots he faced, while his team finally broke up Ellis’ clean sheet. Nick Paul set up at the net front and saw a Conor Allen point shot deflect through Ellis’ pads off his skate at 9:29. Kyle Flanagan scored with 6.2 seconds left but the Bears cruised to the victory.
Ellis, whose shutout streak in Binghamton ended at 109:29, improved to 15-6-4 on the season with 25 saves on the night. O’Connor took the loss with 10 saves on 16 shots in two periods of work and fell to 3-11-2.
The Bears saw their point streak extend to 10 games (7-2-0-1) with the win.