Saturday the Hershey Bears looked to kick off the New Year by beating the red hot Binghamton Senators. The Senators enter their second contest of 2013 at Hershey with a 20-7-1-2 record, second in the East Division. Mike Hoffman scored the game-winner at the 12:08 mark, as the Bears only fired 21 shots on goal in a 3-1 loss to Binghamton.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Senators led the Bears in shots 10-6. Braden Holtby was tested early and made an acrobatic, point-blank save on Derek Grant only 25 seconds into the contest.
At the 5:17 mark of the second period, Hershey took a 1-0 lead off the most fortunate bounce of the season. Patrick McNeill blasted a shot shot from the point wide of the net. The puck took a strong bounce off the glass, hit the skate of surprised Sens’ defender Eric Gryba and into the net. Ryan Potulny received credit for his fifth tally of the campaign.
But with under three minutes to play in the second frame, Binghamton finally drew even on attempt number 24. On shot 24 it was jersey number 24 for the Senators who cashed in on a wide open net. Jakob Silfverberg entered the offensive zone on a rush and faked Holtby out of position. He then sent a pass through the blue paint to the front of the net where Stephane Da Costa laid the biscuit into the cage. Both sides were deadlocked at 1-1 following two periods.
With 7:52 left in the third period, the Senators broke the 1-1 tie and tallied the game-winning goal following a Holtby mistake. Mike Hoffman sent a rebound into a wide open net after Braden Holtby left his crease to challenge a Da Costa shot. The Senators scored a long empty net goal across the length of the ice, as Hershey couldn’t find the equalizer, and fell to Binghamton, 3-1.
There were reports made during the game that the NHL Lockout could be resolved this coming Monday. With that stated, tomorrow’s game against Worcester could be Braden Holtby’s last game in a Hershey uniform before riding into the sunset that is the National Hockey League.
Post game video: