BLACK BEARS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH WITH 4-3 OT WIN
BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Black Bears clinched a playoff berth with a 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday night over the Watertown Wolves in front of over 3,300 fans at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
After no scoring in the first, Tyler Gjurich opened the scoring in the second. Gjurich took a pass on the side of the net and slipped it by goaltender Adam Beukeboom to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead. The goal came just 24 seconds into the second from Levac and Nikita Ivashkin.
Ivashkin then scored back-to-back goals to give Binghamton a 3-0 lead. After Tyler Gjurich was denied, Ivashkin picked up the loose puck in the hash marks and sent a wrister into the net for his 49th goal of the year at 11:47. Gjurich and Kyle Powell were awarded the assists.
Ivashkin’s 50th goal of the year and second of the night came at 12:31 of the middle frame. Kyle Powell’s shot was tipped into the net by Ivashkin to give Binghamton a 3-0 lead. The assist on Ivashkin’s goal was given to Powell.
Watertown came back with two goals to make it a one-goal game. Kyle Heitzner scored his first with the Wolves at 13:49 of the second to decrease Binghamton’s advantage to 3-1. Justin MacDonald pulled the Wolves within one with his 48th of the year and the Black Bears took a 3-2 lead into the third period.
In the third period, Lane King tied the game late to force overtime. The goal was King’s seventh of the year with assists from Justin MacDonald and Troy Taylor at 18:10 of the final frame. Binghamton then took a late penalty and was forced to kill off a power play to start the extra time.
After killing off the penalty, Emil Strom walked in from the left side and scored the OT winner with 18 seconds left to secure a playoff berth on home ice and a 4-3 win.
Owen Liskiewicz stopped 50 of 53 shots in the victory.
The Black Bears are back home next Saturday against Danbury for Girl Scout Night! Get your tickets at www.binghamtonblackbears.com/tickets.
Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.binghamtonblackbears.com, by calling 607-722-7367, or visiting the front office on the third floor of the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena. Follow the Black Bears all year long on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.