Rockers Drop Game 1 In Empire Division Final, 4-3, To Binghamton

Fraser, MI — The Motor City Rockers dropped Game 1 of the Empire Division Finals, 4-3, to the Binghamton Black Bears on Friday night

The Rockers were able to get a 1-0 lead thanks to another breakaway from TJ Delaney, his fourth of the playoffs, and his first conversion. 

After losing a faceoff draw in their own end, Motor City was sprung when Josh Fletcher tried a centering attempt on a rebound that slipped through the goal mouth and bounced into the neutral zone. Delaney was back deep to collect the puck as he walked it into the offensive zone. His initial shot was stopped but he followed his own rebound for a 1-0 lead with 4:21to play in the opening period and his second goal of the playoffs.

Binghamton was able to counter that with a 2-on-1 and a little bit of puck luck in the second period to give themselves a lead that it wouldn’t give up. 

Midway through the second period Tyson Kirkby and Cam Clark were sprung by Clark who chipped the puck out of the defensive zone. 

Kirby raced into the attacking zone to create pressure and then centered the puck to a trailing Clark who stepped into a quick wrister for his first goal of the night, and of the playoffs that tied the score 1-1. 

Five minutes later when the Black Bears were creating more offensive pressure Colan Fitzgerald was able to keep the attack coming with a play at center ice. He pushed the puck ahead to Gavin Yates who then centered the puck back to Fitzgerald. As he touched it, it ricocheted off a Rocker skate and into the net for a 2-1 lead with 6:28 to play in the 2nd period. 

Connor Smith added to the lead in the third period when he was able to dangle into the slot around a Rocker and still got a stick on the puck for his third goal of the playoffs and a 3-1 lead with 12:46 to play. 

Motor City was able to stay afloat and pull back within one, 3-2, on the power play when Josh Colten worked the puck from the nearside wall to the point to Lane King. King then ripped into a shot that was deflected by TJ Sneath for his third of the playoffs. 

The Rockers penalty kill has been unbeatable this postseason. Motor City has killed 19-of-19 power play attempts on the Rockers so far through four games. 

Clark was able to help Binghamton pull away with his second goal of the night with 5:20remaining in the game before Jonathan Julian earned his first postseason goal a minute and a half later. 

The Rockers and Black Bears will play on Saturday at Visions Veteran Memorial at 7:00pm. You can listen to the game on 101.5FM/ 1400AM and on with pre-game starting at 6:50pm.