by Rob Lippolis

BINGHAMTON – Tyler Gjurich scored twice and Joe Sheppard made 30 saves as the Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Columbus River Dragons on Sunday afternoon, 5-2, inside Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
Tyler Gjurich opened the scoring just 1:35 into the game. Sam Turner sent a shot on net and Gjurich tipped it by goaltender Mike Cosentino for a 1-0 lead. Turner and Mo Levac were credited with the assists.
Binghamton took a 2-0 lead at 7:23 of the first period as Gavin Yates fired a wrist shot from the left circle that went up and over the right shoulder of Cosentino for his 13th of the year. Danny Vanderwiel collected the lone assist on Yates’ goal.
Gjurich struck again in the opening period to give Binghamton a three-goal lead. Tyson Kirkby fed Gjurich on a breakaway and he beat Cosentino on the backhand for a 3-0 advantage. The goal was Gjurich’s second of the period and 48th of the season. It came 16:09 into the game with assists from Kirkby and Mo Levac.
Columbus got on the board late in the first period as Jay Croop lifted a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Joe Sheppard and Binghamton took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, Mo Levac and Nikita Ivashkin set up Tyson Kirkby for a power-play goal to give Binghamton a 4-1 lead. The goal was Kirkby’s fifth of the year and came just 3:23 into the middle frame.
The Black Bears took a 5-1 lead as Josh Newberg fired home his 23rd of the year at 7:47 of the second. Colan Fitzgerald set up Newberg for the even-strength goal as he beat Cosentino with a wrist shot from the hash marks. The Black Bears took the four-goal lead into the final period.
MJ Graham scored for Columbus in the third period and Binghamton’s lead was decreased to 5-2.
The Black Bears are back home next Friday, April 8 against Danbury at 7 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