Black Bears grab a point in Columbus

by Rob Lippolis

Columbus, GA- The Binghamton Black Bears fell in overtime against the Columbus River Dragons in the first game of the season series.  Columbus scored on their only shot of overtime, defeating Binghamton 3-2.

The Black Bears and River Dragons played a tight-knit first period, with neither side scoring in the opening period.  Columbus held a slight advantage in shots, 9-8.  Both teams failed to convert on their one respective power play opportunity.  

Gavin Yates and the Black Bears were first on the scoresheet in the second period.  Yates buried a rebound from Don Olivieri, making 1-0 in favor of the visitors.  Columbus tied the game on the power play, their third of the game, and second of the period, sending the teams to the locker room even at 1-1.

Third period action began with Jake Schultz sending Austin Thompson on a breakaway that led to Binghamton reclaiming their one-goal lead on Thompson’s 18th of the season.  Binghamton played with the lead for a majority of the period.  The Black Bears got into pentaly trouble in the late stages of the contest that put the River Dragons on a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds, and with two remaining, Columbus tied the game at 2-2.  Binghamton had a power play in the final 65 seconds for a chance to win in regulation, but couldn’t put it past the goaltender.  

After 60 minutes, the teams were all-square at 2-2.

Binghamton started overtime with a 4-on-3 sequence, but was unable to score with the man advantage.  Columbus took advantage and sprung Josh Pietrantonio for a breakaway and would ultimately end the game.  The River Dragons defeated the Black Bears, despite not leading for a single second on Friday night. 

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