02/25/2009 - SENS RALLY FROM THREE DOWN TO SLIP BY BEARS
By: John Walton
A roller coaster first period and a big lead early couldn't hold up for HERSHEY Wednesday night in a 6-5 shootout loss at Binghamton against the Senators. The game was the first of a two-game series that concludes Friday night.
The first period started out very strong for the BEARS on the offensive side, as the boys from Chocolatetown scored three times in the first 10:45 of the game. Keith Aucoin scored just 45 seconds into the game, with Andrew Gordon putting home a power play goal at 10:31. With HERSHEY leading 2-0 after Gordon's goal, the BEARS increased the lead to 3-0 just 14 seconds later when Kyle Wilson scored his 22nd goal of the year at 10:45. Binghamton goaltender Martin Gerber was pulled from the game at that point, making just three saves on six shots. The Senators got a goal back at the 14:37 mark of the first, with Mattias Karlsson scoring from the slot against Daren Machesney. HERSHEY then answered just over three minutes later when Alexandre Giroux potted his 40th goal of the season at 17:48, and the visiting team seemed to be in a good position late in period one. But Binghamton posed a furious rally with two goals in 11 seconds at 18:26 and 18:37, getting goals from Denis Hamel and Josh Hennessy to cut the Chocolate and White lead to 4-3. Machesney, like Gerber earlier in the period, was pulled from the game before the period came to a close. Jeff Glass, who allowed Giroux's 40th goal, would go the rest of the way for Binghamton with Kris Mayotte coming off the bench for the duration for the BEARS. At the end of one, HERSHEY led 4-3.
Neither team scored in the second period, but Binghamton would find the next goal in the game early in the third period with Peter Regin's 10th goal of the year at the five minute mark. Graham Mink, who was named the game's number one star, scored the go-ahead goal less than two minutes later at 6:49 to give HERSHEY a 5-4 lead, but again the Senators would find the equalizer. Zack Smith tied the game at five with a power play goal against Mayotte at 17:23, and the game progressed through a scoreless overtime period. In the shootout, Binghamton scored on its second, third and fourth chances on Mayotte, while the BEARS could not score against Glass. HERSHEY gained a standings point Wednesday, but fell in a shootout 6-5. Mayotte absorbed the shootout setback, while Glass earned the win in relief.
Notes: The BEARS will return to Binghamton on Friday to face-off with the Senators before hosting the Norfolk Admirals and Providence Bruins at GIANT Center. Face-off with Norfolk is Saturday at 7:00 p.m., with the Bruins coming to town Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Kip Brennan, Quintin Laing, Greg Amadio and Patrick McNeill were listed as injury scratches Wednesday. Steve Pinizzotto, Francois Bouchard and Patrick Wellar were also scratched Wednesday. Tickets for this weekend's games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Giroux reached the 40-goal plateau for the second time in a HERSHEY uniform. He scored 42 goals back in 2006-07 when the BEARS advanced to the Calder Cup finals.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Graham Mink (Scored a goal and assisted on three others)
2. Keith Aucoin (A goal and two assists, now with 77 points)
3. Josh Hennessy (Goal and assist for the Sens)