by Rob Lippolis

WATERTOWN - Goaltender Joe Sheppard made 41 saves and Josh Newberg and Nikita Ivashkin each scored twice as the Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Watertown Wolves on the road Saturday night, 5-2.

The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead after killing of a penalty in the opening frame. Nikita Ivashkin moved into the offensive zone and ripped a shot by goaltender Tristen Gillispie. The goal was his second of the season with the lone assist going to Tyler Becker.

Josh Newberg added to the lead just 24 seconds later to take a 1-0 lead. Players converged on the Watertown net and Newberg got the final touch as the puck hopped up and over the goal line 7:48 into the game. Ivashkin and Erik Oganezov collected the assists. Following the goal, Breandan Colgan came in to replace Gillispie in net for Watertown.

With just 53 seconds left in the first period, Ivashkin recorded his third goal of the year and second of the night to give the Black Bears a 3-0 lead. Becker and Colan Fitzgerald were credited with the helpers and Binghamton took the three-goal lead into the intermission with the shots tied at nine.

Newberg struck again in the second period on a two-on-one rush with Artem Alekhin to give the Black Bears a 4-0 lead. Aleckhin moved down the right side and set up Newberg who beat Colgan at the 5:08 mark of the second for the four-goal lead.
Watertown responded later in the second period to pull within three. Brennan Ash beat goaltender Joe Sheppard at 12:26 with assists from Lane King and Alexander Jmaeff. Binghamton took the 4-1 lead into the second intermission despite being outshot through two periods, 27-21.

In the third period, the Wolves scored again as Cole McKechney beat Sheppard at the 13:06 mark to get the Wolves within two. Assists on the goal were given to Evan Gorman and Justin MacDonald and the Black Bears led 4-2.

Mikal Chalifoux sealed the deal for the Black Bears with 2:25 left in regulation on a breakaway. Larry Yellowknee set up Chalifoux with a lead pass and he beat Colgan for a 5-2 lead. That held up as the final score as the Black Bears collected their first win ever.

The Black Bears home opener is Saturday, November 6 against the Delaware Thunder at 7 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with live music from Wreckless Marci and drink specials until the puck drops.