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01/14/2009 - RATS SCORE EARLY, OFTEN IN 7-2 WIN OVER BEARS By: John Walton A rough night for the HERSHEY BEARS Wednesday night led to a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Albany River Rats. The tone was set early when the River Rats scored four times in the first period. Michael Ryan, who was named the game's number one star, scored the first two goals of the game. Jerome Samson and Josef Melichar would add goals before the first period would come to a close as Albany bolted out to a 4-0 lead. Goaltender Simeon Varlamov was pulled after the first period, yielding to Daren Machesney. Machesney would allow three goals over the final two periods to round out the scoring. Keith Aucoin got the BEARS on the board late in the second period at the 15:23 mark, and Alexandre Giroux kept his goal scoring streak alive at 12 straight games with a lamp-lighter at 4:24 of the third. The loss was HERSHEY'S third straight. Notes: The BEARS head to Bridgeport to face the Sound Tigers Friday night at 7:00 p.m. for a showdown between the top two teams in the East Division. HERSHEY then will complete four games in five nights this weekend with home games against Philadelphia and Worcester. Jay Beagle returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing the last 25 games due to injury. He was sidelined back on November 9. Washington recalled defenseman Bryan Helmer prior to Wednesday's game. Helmer played for the Capitals Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game 1. Michael Ryan (First hat trick allowed by the Bears this season) 2. Justin Peters (36 saves in earning the win) 3. Alexandre Giroux (Goal scoring streak is alive at 12 straight games)

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