HERSHEY, Pa. – Jakub Culek scored the eventual game-winning goal, and the Binghamton Senators killed off 1:31 of a third-period two-man disadvantage to skate past the HERSHEY BEARS 5-3 on Friday night at GIANT Center.
The Senators once again got on the board first, this time with the first power play goal of the pre-season for either team. Following a shot from the right point that deflected in front of the HERSHEY net, Jean-Gabriel Pageau hurried the rebound past BEARS netminder Dany Sabourin from the left circle at 6:12.
The BEARS would earn two power plays in the period and would outshoot the visitors by an 11-2 margin, but could not solve Senators netminder Marc Cheverie.
The hosts were able to knot the score at the 5:17 mark of the second frame. While working their third power play of the contest, Tomas Kundratek snuck his way toward the bottom of the right circle, collected a perfect cross-ice pass from Boyd Kane and slammed the puck past Cheverie.
It took just eight seconds after the ensuing faceoff for Mike Hoffman to stuff a shot past Sabourin, giving the Senators a 2-1 lead.
The BEARS would knot the score again when Ryan Potulny raced to create an odd-man rush. He carried the puck deep into the right circle, waited for Cheverie to slide toward him, and slid a pass across the crease that was deposited by Jon DiSalvatore at 9:42.
The BEARS nearly took the lead in the final second of play, when Garrett Stafford’s shot from the right half-boards was tipped through Cheverie’s pads and into the net. But the time had expired in the period just before the puck crossed the goal line.
Mika Zibanejad scored his second goal of the preseason at 3:41 of the third, to push Binghamton ahead 3-2. Sabourin stopped the initial shot from Jared Cowan while standing, but Zibanejad found the puck and pushed it through Sabourin’s pads.
Culek made it a 4-2 game at 5:33 when he deflected a Chris Wideman point shot past Sabourin’s blocker.
The BEARS charged back just 28 seconds later when Mattias Sjogren one-timed a pass from Kane over the glove of backup netminder Scott Greenham.
The BEARS then had a golden opportunity to come back with Cole Schneider and Pageau whistled for penalties just 29 seconds apart, but the Senators penalty kill held strong. Sabourin would come off for the extra attacker late in the game, but the Senators held on for the win.
The BEARS and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will wrap up the pre-season with a home-and-home set beginning in Wilkes-Barre Township tomorrow, October 6 at 7:05 PM, and concluding in HERSHEY on Sunday, October 7 at 5:00 PM.
Individual tickets for Sunday’s game 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.