BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – David Leggio made 39 saves through 65 minutes of play, then went perfect in the shootout to help the Hershey Bears come back from a two-goal deficit and claim a 4-3 victory over the Binghamton Senators on Wednesday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Bears would grab the game’s first goal while a delayed penalty call loomed against the hosts. Seconds after killing off Binghamton’s first power play, Michael Latta drew a call against the Senators while stickhandling out of the defensive zone. He carried the puck up the right side, and then fed the high slot. Patrick Wellar grabbed the pass, weaved toward the net and sent a low shot underneath the pads of goaltender Andrew Hammond at the 3:52 mark for his first goal of the season.
Despite being outshot 13-6 after the first period, the Bears held the one-goal lead at the intermission.
Binghamton would then earn four consecutive power plays in the second period, cashing in on one and striking just after another. Mark Stone would backhand a shot over a sprawled out Leggio at 9:25, after taking a pass from Fredrik Claesson. The goal came three seconds after a penalty against Brandon Segal expired.
The Senators then took their first lead of the game at 15:55 on their fourth power play of the period and fifth of the game. Mike Hoffman, from just inside the blue line, one-timed a feed from Stone toward the net. Leggio pinned the puck between his glove and left pad, but it trickled through and across the goal line for a 2-1 Binghamton advantage.
Leggio held the Bears in the game with several big saves in the middle period, but the Senators would beat him on an odd-man rush in the third. Andre Petersson finished off a pass from Shane Prince by chipping a shot over Leggio’s glove at 4:59, extending the Senators’ lead to 3-1.
One minute later, the Bears got one goal back on an offensive zone faceoff play. Matt Watkins won a draw in the left circle, and Stan Galiev collected the puck in the high slot. He turned and fired a low shot that snuck inside the right post behind Hammond, cutting the Senators’ lead to 3-2.
Latta then helped tie the game when he powered from the right circle toward the net front and got a backhand shot away from in close. Both he and Casey Wellman were there when the puck sat on the goal line. Wellman waved at the chance but Latta would be credited with knotting the score at 12:23.
The Senators were unable to claim victory in overtime, despite outshooting the Bears 2-0 in the extra five minutes.
The Senators elected to allow the Bears to take the first shot, and Ryan Stoa made it count to give Hershey the lead. Leggio would then deny Stephane Da Costa, Hoffman and Petersson in succession. Wellman and Jeff Taffe missed on their chances, but Galiev connected, forcing Cole Schneider to score. Schneider missed, sending the Bears to victory.
Leggio improved to 5-6-2 on the season, while Hammond fell to 6-3-3 with 23 saves on 26 shots.
With the win, the Bears pulled within two points of the fourth spot in the East Division and improved their record to 9-8-2-3.
Hershey finishes its road trip with a visit to Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, December 13, for a 7:05 PM faceoff against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Bears return home to face the Senators on Saturday, December 14 at 7:00 PM. Individual tickets for this and all Hershey Bears home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting TicketMaster.com on the internet. Information on season tickets, group tickets and flex plans for the 2013-2014 Hershey Bears regular season is available by calling (717)508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears illness scratch was D Chay Genoway…Injury scratches were RW D Connor Carrick, D Tomas Kundratek and RW Garrett Mitchell…Healthy scratches were C Jamie Johnson (vet), LW John Mitchell, RW Joel Rechlicz and LW Nathan Walker… Hershey finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill…D Patrick Wellar became the 24th different Hershey player to score a goal this season with his first-period marker…Wellar’s last goal came on October 7, 2011, also at Binghamton, in the regular-season opener…The Bears won for the first time when trailing after two periods (1-4-0-1)…G David Leggio, who led the AHL in shootout wins in 2012-13, picked up his first of the campaign (1-2).