by Rob Lippolis

DANBURY - The Binghamton Black Bears almost completed a four-goal comeback in the third period in a 7-5 loss to the Danbury Hat Tricks on Friday night.

Danbury scored three goals in the first 4:58 of regulation to force a Binghamton goaltending change. Garrett Gallagher sent a snap shot by goaltender Joe Sheppard for a 1-0 Danbury lead just 3:37 into the game. The lone assist went to Justin Jesseau.

Cory Anderson gave Danbury a 2-0 lead with his 25th goal of the season just 4:06 into the game. Brett Jackson and Dustin Jesseau collected the assists. 

Danbury moved out to a 3-0 lead as Johnny Ruiz put home his 40th goal of the season. Assists on Ruiz’s were given to Tom Mele and Dmitry Kuznetsov at 4:58 of the first period and goaltender Owen Liskiewicz came in to replace Joe Sheppard for the Black Bears. 

The Black Bears got on the board later in the opening period. After being denied on a wrist shot, Tyler Gjurich sent a pass to the front of the net and Kyle Powell tapped in his eighth goal of the year. Gjurich was given the lone assist at 11:10 of the first period and Binghamton trailed 3-1.

Dustin Jesseau gave the Hat Tricks their second three-goal lead of the first period with his 15th goal of the year at the 14:42 mark. Steve Brown and Adam Dauda were awarded with the assists and Binghamton trailed Danbury after 20 minutes of play, 4-1.

Binghamton pulled back within two at 7:09 of the second period on the power play. Mo Levac and Nikita Ivashkin connected to set up Emil Strom for his 12th goal of the year. The power-play goal decreased Danbury’s lead to 4-2. 

Dmitry Kuznetsov gave Danbury another three-goal lead with a wrist shot from the right-wing circle that beat Owen Liskiewicz for a 5-2 advantage. The goal was Kuznetsov’s 29th of the year with assists from Steve Brown and goaltender Peter Di Salvo at 11:34. Binghamton trailed 5-2 after 40 minutes.

Steve Mele added a power-play goal in the third period for a 6-2 Danbury lead. Johnny Ruiz and Tom Mele collected the assists at 3:14 of the third.

Binghamton scored back-to-back goals to get within two at 5:52 and 8:46 of the third. Nikita Ivashkin put in a power-play goal for his 51st of the year and Gavin Yates added an even-strength goal for his 11th of the year. 

The Black Bears were down 6-4 when Mo Levac lifted a shot over the right shoulder of Peter Di Salvo at 12:45 of the third period and Binghamton trailed 6-5. 

With the net empty, and after several chances for the Black Bears to tie the game, Adam Dauda slid in an empty-net goal for the 7-5 win.

The Black Bears are back home tomorrow night against Danbury for Girl Scout Night and the first 500 fans get a FREE Playoff Clinching Poster! Get your tickets at 

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