10/11/2008 - STILL PERFECT: BEARS WIN AT NORFOLK 4-3 SATURDAY
By: John Walton
The HERSHEY BEARS needed the shootout Saturday night, but remained perfect in 2008-09 with a 4-3 shootout win at Norfolk Scope.
Norfolk would strike first Saturday with a power play goal from Radek Smolenak just 4:20 into the game, and the Admirals held a 1-0 lead. Late in period one, Keith Aucoin buried a shot past Ads goaltender Karri Ramo to tie the game at 1-1 before intermission. Tyler Sloan and Bryan Helmer earned assists on Aucoin's game-tying marker. The BEARS outshot Norfolk in the first period 11-7.
Freewheeling hockey was the order of the day in the second period, as both teams had terrific chances in front of the enemy goaltender. But the only goal scored in the frame came off the stick of rookie Francois Bouchard following a Norfolk turnover behind their own goal cage. The goal at 18:23 gave the BEARS its first lead of the night at 2-1, and that held up into the third period.
The Admirals tied the game on two different occasions in the third, starting with Brandon Segal's first of the season at 5:36. Mathieu Perreault then scored for HERSHEY on the power play from Kyle Wilson and Karl Alzner , but Zenon Konopka would then tip a pass from Vladimir Mihalik past BEARS backstop Simeon Varlamov at 10:57 to re-tie the game. Neither team would score the rest of the way in regulation or the five minute overtime period. In the shootout, the BEARS got goals from Keith Aucoin, Alexandre Giroux and Francois Bouchard to win the game 4-3. Varlamov wins his first AHL game, making 22 saves.
Notes: The BEARS will conclude the current four-game road trip Friday night in Philadelphia against the Phantoms at 7:05 p.m. HERSHEY will then play the club's 71st home opener in team history Saturday, October 18 against the Syracuse Crunch at GIANT Center. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m., with tickets available at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Dean Arsene and Josh Godfrey were scratched after playing in Friday's game vs. Norfolk. Greg Amadio and Grant McNeill made their 2008-09 debuts in the contest. With Philadelphia losing to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the BEARS carry a four-point lead in the East Division heading into Sunday's action, assuring the Chocolate and White of holding first place into the second week of the season.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Francois Bouchard (Amazing SO goal broke Norfolk's back)
2. Keith Aucoin (Goal in regulation and one in the SO to help seal the win)
3. Mathieu Perreault (Great PPG in the third)