12/21/2008 - BEARS DOWN MONSTERS IN SHOOTOUT
By Jess Mikula
Andrew Gordon would be the BEARS' savior Sunday night, picking up the winning point in the fifth round of the shootout to defeat the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2.
The Monsters found the back of the net early, with Jesse Boulerice picking up his fourth goal of the season at 3:50 of the first. Neither team would score through the remainder of the period, and the BEARS trailed Lake Erie 0-1 headed to the locker room after 20 minutes.
Quintin Laing would answer for HERSHEY with his sixth goal of the season 37 seconds into the second, as he tipped in a screamer from Greg Amadio on the point. Lake Erie fired back as Kyle Cumiskey caught the BEARS in a line change at 14:53, with Philippe Dupuis adding the helper. The BEARS again evened the score on the man advantage. Kyle Wilson potted his 13th of the year from Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Helmer at 18:31. The score was knotted at 2-2 after two.
Neither team found the score sheet through the next 25 minutes of play, sending the game to the shootout.
Gordon provided the game-winning goal for HERSHEY in the shootout, as Monsters netminder Jason Bacashihua initially made the stop before sliding back across the goal line with the puck underneath his pads.
The BEARS out-shot the Monsters 45-25 and went 1-for-3 on the power play. Simeon Varlamov made 23 saves to earn his 11th win of the season in net. HERSHEY recorded just two penalty minutes, their lowest total this season since they tallied six against Bridgeport on November 22.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Jason Bacashihua
2. Andrew Gordon
3. Kyle Wilson
Notes: The BEARS are off until Saturday when the Binghamton Senators visit GIANT Center for a 7:00 p.m. start. Goaltender Daren Machesney left the team after the game to join Team Canada for the Spengler Cup tournament in Davos, Switzerland. He is expected to rejoin the BEARS on January 2 in Providence. The game marked the only central PA appearance for Lake Erie in 2008-09. HERSHEY will travel to Cleveland to play the Monsters on March 8 at Quicken Loans Arena. The start for Varlamov was his first in the AHL since December 11 in San Antonio. He was 2-0-0 for Washington in two appearances last week, defeating Montreal and St. Louis.