01/20/2012 - BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Jim O’Brien’s second goal of the game in the third period came shorthanded, Robin Lehner held off a furious rally by the visitors and the goal ended up as the winner to help the Binghamton Senators snap a four-game losing skid in a 4-3 victory on Friday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The victory also ended the BEARS’ five-game winning streak.
It was another rough opening period for HERSHEY, as Corey Locke began a three-goal outburst by placing a shot over a fallen Braden Holtby at 9:12. O’Brien sored at 11:05 when he stickhandled around a BEARS defenseman and took an off-wing shot that eluded Holtby to the glove side. Pat Cannone then snapped a feed from Locke over Holtby’s shoulder for the Senators’ only power play strike of the contest, giving the hosts a 3-0 lead which they held into the first intermission.
HERSHEY would turn up the heat in the middle frame, striking twice in three minutes to cut into the Binghamton lead. Julien Brouillette started things off by pinching in from the center point to fire a wrist shot over Lehner at 7:54, off of a right corner feed from Chris Bourque.
Jacob Micflikier made it a one-goal deficit while the BEARS were working a two-man advantage. Keith Aucoin collected a pass along the goal line below the left circle, and hurried a pass toward the net front that Micflikier slammed home at 10:55 for his 10th power play goal of the campaign. The assist pushed Aucoin’s assist and point streaks to 14 games.
Trailing 3-2 halfway through the third period, the BEARS were sent to the penalty box when Matt Ford was called for slashing. But a poor entry into the offensive zone by the Senators enabled the BEARS to transition shorthanded. Aucoin led the rush down the left wing, and fed the slot where Bourque one-timed a shot under Lehner’s outstretched left pad at 11:28, tying the score.
The BEARS had a chance to take the lead, earning a power play almost immediately after tying the game. But Rob Klinkhammer’s steal in the defensive zone turned into a feed for O’Brien, who stopped in the offensive end, turned around and wristed a shot over Holtby’s shoulder around a screen at 13:52.
HERSHEY earned a power play with 1:11 remaining in regulation, and got Holtby off for a six-on-four advantage. But Lehner withstood abundant pressure and hung on for the win.Holtby drops to 14-9-1 with the loss, making 30 saves on 34 shots. Lehner improves to 7-13-1, stopping 42 shots.
The BEARS finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
With the loss, the BEARS drop to 24-9-4-3 on the season (55 points) but maintain their four-point lead at the top of the East Division.
The BEARS will return home tomorrow, January 21 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Manchester Monarchs. The game is sold out. Good seats remain for Sunday’s 5:00 PM start against the Monarchs. Individual tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.
Game Recap: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1009232