by Rob Lippolis

BINGHAMTON- The Black Bears defeated the Danbury Hat Tricks 6-1 in the semifinal of the Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs on Friday night.  5 different Black Bears scored a goal, while Tyson Kirkby was able to get two.  Talor Joseph stopped 27 shots en route to picking up his third playoff win.

Early in the first, Binghamton put the pressure on, as Austin Thompson got the party started.  Binghamton was putting more shots on the board, but Danbury was making them pay.  The Hat Tricks began the game more on the physical side but chased the Black Bears down a goal.  

It was late in the period when the Hat Tricks earned a power play opportunity, that didn’t take much time to convert on…  Lucas DeBenedet evened up the game at 1-1 and sent the teams to the locker room all-square.

The floodgates opened in the second period as Binghamton was able to score three more goals unanswered.  Colan Fitzgerald, Tyson Kirkby, and Donald Olivieri, pushed pucks past Brian Wilson, extending the lead to 4-1 going into the final period of the night. Talor Joseph stopped all 9 shots he saw in the middle frame, leading the defense for the Black Bears.  All Binghamton, 4-1 after two periods.  

Physicality rev’d up in the final period, but Binghamton did not take the bait in a game that saw Odjick and Amesbury ejected, following their major penalties.  Kirkby scored his second of the night, and Lopez tallied the sixth and final goal of the evening secure a game one victory for the Black Bears, 6-1.  

Binghamton now takes a 1-0 series lead into Danbury for the next two games.  Binghamton must win Saturday or Monday night in order to advance into the Commissioner’s Cup Final.   

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