by Rob Lippolis

BINGHAMTON – Tyler Gjurich scored twice as the Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Carolina Thunderbirds on Friday night inside Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.

Binghamton kicked off the scoring just 1:29 into the game as Nikita Ivashkin ripped a wrist shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Brandon Brown for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Ivashkin’s 56th of the year with assists from Danny Vanderwiel and Tyler Piekarski.

Nathan Campbell scored on the power play to tie the game at one. His shot from the right point sailed through traffic and into the net at 3:19 of the first. Assists were credited to Dawson Baker and John Buttitta. 

The Black Bears moved back out to a one-goal lead as Tyler Gjurich blasted in his 54th goal of the season. Tyson Kirkby forced a turnover and fed Gjurich who beat the goaltender just 4:03 into the game and Binghamton took a 2-1 lead. 

After Binghamton players thought they scored at one end of the ice, Carolina scored, and the play went to review. After the officials discussed it, they awarded the Black Bears with the goal and Gavin Yates gave Binghamton a 3-1 lead. 

The Thunderbirds took back-to-back penalties after the goal was called off and the Black Bears had a two-man advantage. Tyler Gjurich let a slap shot go that beat Brandon Brown for a 4-1 lead. The goal was Gjurich’s second of the night and 55th of the year with assists from Cam Yarwood and Kyle Powell at 15:04 of the first. 

Gus Ford scored a power-play goal after that to get Carolina back within two. John Buttitta and Dawson Baker collected assists and the Black Bears took a 4-2 lead into the first intermission. Nicholas Modica came in to replace Brandon Brown in net after he was injured. 

Tyson Kirkby scored the lone goal of the second period and Binghamton took a 5-2 lead into the third period. 

Carolina mounted a comeback as Dawson Baker scored a power-play goal at 8:01 of the third period. Viktor Grebennikov and John Buttitta were given the assists and Binghamton’s lead was now 5-3.

Later in the third, Gus Ford batted the puck out of the air and into the net to get Carolina within one, 5-4. The Black Bears killed off several penalties and hung on for the one-goal win. Joe Sheppard stopped 29 of 33 shots in the win.

The Black Bears are back home tomorrow for Broome Dusters Throwback Night with special Dusters-themed jerseys. First 500 fans will get a FREE team photo! Also, it’s Downtown Doubleheader with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. For $20, fans can get a ticket to their game at 1:05 p.m. and the Black Bears game at 6 p.m. Tickets are available now at 

Playoff hockey is returning to Binghamton! Secure your seats and get a merchandise gift card. Season ticket holders will also receive a special playoff gift as well. For more information, Black Bears fans can visit

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting, 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.