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Hershey Bears Lose to Binghamton Senators After Epic Shootout Battle
The Hershey Bears played a tough home game against the Binghamton Senators on Sunday, April 1, 2012. Though the Senators were ahead most of the game, the Bears rallied back in the third period to tie the game. After a scoreless overtime, the game progressed to 13 rounds of shootouts. Though the Bears lost, fans should take heart in the fact that both teams played well.
Not even one minute into the game, the Senators took the lead. The team increased that lead to two before the Bears would finally be able to get on the board halfway through the period. Ryan Potulny got his first goal of the night while Kyle Greentree and Boyd Kane were credited with assists. The first period ended with the Senators up 2-1. The second period looked a lot like the first. The Senators got an early goal and then another one to go up by two in the period. Thanks to Billy Ryan, the Bears got on the board in the final minutes of the period. His first goal in the league was assisted by Chris Bourque and Mike Carman. At the end of the second, the Senators led 4-2.
In the first seconds of the third period, the Senators scored once again and the game looked pretty bleak for the Bears with the score now 5-2. Fortunately, shortly after the Senators got that goal, Potulny got his second goal of the night, with help from Sean Collins and Kane. In the second half of the third period, Kane got his only goal of the night and both Kevin Marshall and Potulny were credited with an assist. With just minutes to go in the third, Potulny completed his hat trick thanks to help from Bourque and Kane. Regulation time ended with the teams tied 5-5.
Despite the fact that the teams scored 10 points combine in the three periods during regular time, neither team managed to score during the overtime period. The game progressed to a shootout. Though a shootout consists of at least five rounds, this shootout was different. After five rounds, the two teams had both managed to score once, in the fourth round. It wasn't until the 13th round that the teams managed to get one more. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Senators got that goal and won the game.
There are just six games remaining in the regular season, but the Bears already know their season will continue after those six games. After a loss to the St. John's IceCaps on Saturday, March 31, 2012, the team learned that, thanks to help from other teams, the Bears had clinched a berth in the playoffs. So far, three of the teams in the East Division of the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League have clinched berths. Since only four teams in the Eastern Conference and one team in the Western Conference have clinched a berth, it is a huge accomplishment. There is a chance that the Syracuse Crunch will also be able to clinch a berth, but the fifth team in the Eastern Conference, the Binghamton Senators, has been eliminated.
Up next for the Bears is a three game weekend. On Friday, April 6, the Bears will travel to play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Then the Bears will return home for two games. On Saturday, the team will face the Crunch and on Sunday, the team will face the Connecticut Blue Whales. Fans should be sure to get out and cheer for the Bears as they play in the last few games of the regular season.
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