by Rob Lippolis

BINGHAMTON – Gavin Yates scored the overtime winner as the Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Danbury Hat Tricks on Saturday night, 5-4, in front of over 3,000 inside Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
Nikita Ivashkin scored his league-leading 35th goal of the season to give Binghamton a 1-0 lead in the opening period. Ivashkin moved into the offensive zone and went through the defense to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead. The goal was unassisted and came 8:58 into the game.
With just one minute to go in the first frame, Danbury tied the game at one. Nicola Levesque beat goaltender Owen Liskiewicz on a rebound with assists from Jonny Ruiz and Brice French for his eighth of the year. The goal came at 19:00 of the first period and the game was tied at one after one with the shots even at nine.
The only goal of the second period came off the stick of Gordy Bonnel. The puck changed direction and went right to Ruiz, and he fed Bonnel for his 13th of the year to give Danbury a 2-1 lead. Bonnel’s goal came 5:14 into the second period and the Hat Tricks took the lead into the third period.
In the third period, Tyler Gjurich beat goaltender Frankie McClendon to tie the game 2-2. The goal was Gjurich’s 18th of the year with assists from Emil Strom and Josh Newberg and came 5:16 into the third.
Levesque have Danbury the lead again in the third period with his second of the night. John Macdonald and Gordy Bonnel were given the helpers and the goal came at 7:51 of the final period of play to give the Hat Tricks a 3-2 lead.
Corey Sherman kept the Black Bears even with Danbury as he tied the game 3-3 with 9:26 remaining in regulation. Sherman took a pass to the left of the net and one timed it in for his third of the season with assists from Gjurich and Kyle Powell.
With the Black Bears on the power play, Johnny Ruiz scored shorthanded to give Danbury a late 4-3 lead. Gordy Bonnel collected the assist on the Ruiz goal and Binghamton trailed with just 4:18 remaining in regulation time.
Nikita Ivashkin eventually forced overtime with the game-tying goal. Ivashkin flipped a wrist shot through traffic and over the right shoulder of McClendon to even the score 4-4 with 3:41 left in the third. Ivashkin’s goal was his second of the night and 36th of the year to force overtime.
In overtime, Gavin Yates walked through the three Danbury players and beat McClendon through the legs for the overtime winner and a 5-4 victory.
The Black Bears return home Thursday against Danbury for Career Fair Night! Submit your resume at the Career Fair for a FREE ticket to the game.Friday is a koozie giveaway to the first 1,500 fans presented by Excite Motorsports. Get your tickets at