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Hockey DB

Despite 3 Game Losing Streak, Binghamton In Good Shape For Playoff Run
February 27, 2023

Posted by: Bob Howard

By Bob Howard of

Nikita Ivashkin leads the team with 35 goals, 31 assists for 66 points.
Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears have played 40 games as of February 26th, 2023 and have a record of 26 wins, 11 losses, 2 over time losses and a loss in the shootout. The team has only had two 2 game or more losing streaks this season, 10/22 vs. Mississippi, 10/28 at Danbury and 10/29 as well at Danbury. Then again this past weekend 2/24, 2/25 and 2/26 all to Carolina at the Arena and all by the score of 4-3. Binghamton's longest win streak this season spanned from 1/21 - 2/4 with wins over Danbury twice and Delaware 3 times.

The Black Bears have scored 199 goals this season and given up only 130, in which the goal differential of a plus 69 goals is an improvement from last season's plus 5 goals through the full 59 game season. Defensively, the team has improved from last season. As of this week, the team's goal-tending corps consists of Riley McVeigh (12-6-2) with a 2.99 GAA and a 91% save percentage, Talor Joseph (2-1-1) with a 2.71 GAA and a 92% save percentage and Jeremie Forget (2-1-0) with a 3.63 GAA and a 90% save percentage.

Leading the team on the scoring side are the Black Bears all time leaders in scoring, Nikita Ivashkin and Tyler Gjurich. Both side-lined at the moment with injury or illness, Nikita did play this weekend on Friday night and with 1 goal entered himself in the Binghamton hockey all time scorers list. This season through 37 games played, Nikita has scored 35 goals, 31 assists for 66 points. Tyler this season has scored 24 goals, 30 assists for 54 points in 33 games but has been out with injury for the last couple of weeks. He is expected to come back after the Black Bears upcoming road trip to the “Deep South”.

The team this season has received secondary scoring from a couple standouts that have shown a lot of promise this season. In his 2nd season, Tyson Kirkby has scored 23 goals, 26 assists for 49 points and has been good on the power play with 6 tallies. Austin Thompson has also impressed this season with 17 goals, 21 assists for 38 points and 7 of those 17 goals scored with the man advantage. Players Chad Lopez, Gavin Yates and Bret Parker have added a combined 35 goals this season.

Gjurich leads the #1 Power Play Team in the FPHL with 9 PPGs.
So what's left for the Black Bears? Starting on Wednesday, the Black Bears have 16 more games left in the regular season with the next six on the road starting on Wednesday at Mississippi. The Black bears will then travel to Columbus to play a pair vs. the River Dragons, the two games the weekend after that in Carolina before meeting Elmira on the 17th of March.

Here is a breakdown of what games are left:
1 game at Mississippi - 3/1
1 game vs. Watertown - 3/19
2 games at Carolina - 3/10 and 3/11
2 games at Motor City - 3/24 and 3/25
2 games with Delaware - 1 home 4/7 and 1 away 4/8
3 games with Columbus - 1 at home 4/1 and 2 in Columbus 3/3 and 3/4
5 games with Elmira - 3 at home 3/18, 3/31 and 4/15 then 2 in Elmira 3/17 and 4/14

Clearly the next 6 games away from the Vision Veterans Memorial Arena is the toughest stretch the Black Bears will play, however with their excellent records vs. Delaware (8-0) and Elmira (5-1), the Black Bears play those two teams 7 more times (Elmira 5 and Delaware 2) there is still a lot of points available to catch the Danbury Hat Tricks for the lead in the Empire division.

Binghamton has already clinched a playoff spot and just 6 games left on their regular reason home schedule and 11 on the road. They are leading the league in attendance with an average of 3,740 per game and could see that average grow with three of those six being against the Elmira Mammoth one game vs. Delaware. Between call-ups and injuries the next 16 will be tough but the Black Bears can also use those games to get the team ready for a deep playoff run.


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