Black Bears take game 1

by Brooks Hill

Winston-Salem, NC- The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Carolina Thunderbirds 5-3 on Friday night, in game one of the finals.  Binghamton used their three-goal opening period to propel themselves across the finish line, stealing a game on the road. 

The Black Bears got off the bus ready to play, as Connor Smith started the scoring, just 4:07 into the contest.  Binghamton kept the pressure up, as Smith’s goal was followed by Jestin Somero and Josh Fletcher both scoring at even strength.  After 20 minutes, Binghamton had silenced the crowd, leading 3-0. 

The Thunderbirds awoke when Gus Ford started the scoring in the middle period.  The assistant captain was able to record the first shorthanded allowed against the Black Bears this postseason.  However, after an extremely fortuitous bounce of the glass, Dan Stone was credited with his first goal of the postseason, on the power play.  Carolina was on the board, but found themselves in the same hole, down by three after two periods.

In the third period, Binghamton couldn’t find any insurance goals, and Carolina took advantage.  Ford was able to cut the lead to two at 12:35 and after another fortuitous bounce, Ford completed his hat trick, cutting the lead down to one with 3:50 remaining.  The T-birds pressed hard, but Connor McAnanama withstood the test.  Austin Thompson tallied the empty-goal goal and secured the victory for Binghamton.  Black Bears win 5-3 and now lead the series 1-0 in the best-of-5 matchup.       

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