BINGHAMTON, NY- Doubts were flying after Hershey’s devastating loss to Lehigh on Friday night. Binghamton learned the hard way that the Bears weren’t too happy about what had transpired the night before. Hershey, powered by a four goal onslaught in the first period, thrust themselves right back into the playoff race with a comanding 7-1 victory in Binghamton on Saturday night.

It took the Bears just over five minutes to open the scoring in this one. ECHL call up Kelly Zajac in for injured Zach Sill made his presence felt as he sat in the slot. He buried a feed from Ryan Bourque to make it 1-0 Bears at the 5:25 mark.

Hershey remained in control and 10 minutes later the Bears go on the board once again. Liam O’Brien accepted a perfect feed from Christian Djoos, spun and fired his career high 9th goal of the season.

Ryan Bourque and tough guy Hubert Labrie added markers to make it 4-0 within a span of 2:37. The scoring frenzy tied Hershey’s season mark of 4 goals in one period.

After being outshot 12-3 in the first, the second period featured a push by the Senators. Casey Bailey capitalized on a Liam O’Brien slashing penalty to cut the Bears lead to 4-1 at 5:19 into the second. Binghamton continues to push holding a 16-11 shot advantage but couldn’t find another goal in the second.

The Bears began the third period on a powerplay and emphatically slammed the door shut on any comeback attempt. Paul Carey was in the right place down low to bury his 18th of the season to extend Hershey’s lead to 5-1 just 45 second into the 3rd. Christian Thomas earned a penalty shot and scored 57 seconds later to quell any hopes at all of a Senators comeback.

Chris Bourque for good measure banked a puck off the back of Matt O’Connor at 7:19 for the 7-1 lead and the score wouldn’t change from there.

Christian Djoos was a major factor and made is presence known in this one for Hershey with three assists. He also nearly scored on this nifty backhander in the second period.

With those three points, Djoos moves into fourth among all AHL defenseman with 44 points (10 G 34 A).

Liam O’Brien continues to have a career year as he scores his ninth goal and 27th point of the season. His previous high marks were seven and 16.

Perhaps the best news of all is that Hershey got help from elsewhere. Albany dispatched Bridgeport 4-1 and Wilkes-Barre took care of Providence 3-2 in regulation. As a result, the Bears have pulled even in points with the Sound Tigers and trail Providence by two (75 to 77) ahead of their head-to-head matchup on Sunday.

Hershey has earned new found life in the Atlantic division race. 

Can they capitalize on their opportunity against the P-Bruins Sunday?

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