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BY DON SCOTT

The Hershey Bears continued their dominance over the Binghamton Devils on Saturday afternoon, with a 6-3 win on Giant Center ice. Hershey is now now 8-1-0-0 versus the Devils this season. 

Binghamton enjoyed an early 1-0 lead when Hershey defenseman Rob O’Gara cleared the puck from behind the Bears’ net, but right on the stick of Binghamton’s Nate Schnarr, who beat Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley, just 2:12 into the contest.

Hershey tied the game on a nifty passing play, as former WHL teammates Aliaksei Protas and Brett Leason teamed up on a give-and-go, with Protas beating Devils’ goalie Gilles Senn for his fifth goal of the season, at 9:57. All five of Leason’s goals this season have been against Binghamton. 

The Bears scored three times late in the middle stanza, after the Devils took a 2-1 edge just 38 seconds into the period, when Danick Martel pushed a shot just inside the post as Copley was trying to control a loose puck.

With 4:40 left in the period, the Bears took an insurmountable 4-2 lead starting with Shane Gersich’s fifth goal of the season, a bullet from the right circle. Defender Alex Alexeyev, who was playing his first game of the season with the Bears, circled the net and found an open Gersich sending a backhand pass for the tying goal.

Hershey took its first lead of the game at 18:41 on a 40-foot rocket from Brian Pinho that deflected off the stick of a Devils defender and into the cage for his sixth goal of the year.

“He is one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached,” sadi Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery, of the play of Pinho who, has seven goals and eight assists in eight games. “His anticipation, knowing where he should be and where the puck is about to go is really, really elite, and that’s why he has proven he is an NHL caliber player.”

Less than a minute later, Hershey’s Martin Fehervary scored his third goal of the season on a shot from the right corner that snuck past Senn to make it 4-2, at 19:24.

Hershey’s Cameron Schilling added a 5-on-3 power play goal, assisted by Philippe Maillet and Pinho at 4:43 of the third period to put Hershey comfortably in front, 5-2.

“We’ve had to mix up our power play a little bit, so hopefully that one today with the two-man advantage will kick start something for us in future games,” Carberry said.

After Fabian Zetterlund scored for the Devils at 18:56, Pinho added an empty net goal to finish off a three-point game (2g, 1a), at 19:09.

The Bears outshot the Devils 47-26 in the win. Copley made 23 saves for Hershey to earn his fifth straight victory and up his record to 7-2-1-1.

The Sunday tilt at Lehigh Valley was postponed, so Hershey is idle until Wednesday at Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. 

Bears Notes

The Bears improved to 15-5-2-0 on the season, having won four straight games, and the last five games on home ice.

The win was the 67th for Pheonix Copley, one less than Claude Dufor on Hershey’s all-time list, and four less than Phil Sauve and Vitek Vanecek at 71.

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