01/16/2009 - LUCKY 13 FOR GIROUX AS BEARS BEAT TIGERS FRIDAY
By: John Walton
Alexandre Giroux stands at the doorstep of AHL history after leading the BEARS to a 5-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
HERSHEY opened the scoring in the first period with a goal from Oskar Osala just 2:24 into the game. Osala's goal came on the power play, and was assisted by Francois Bouchard and Kyle Wilson. Bridgeport rallied to score the next two goals, with Mike Iggulden scoring from in close at 7:11 in the first before Ben Walter scored at 15:43. With the Sound Tigers leading late in the first period, the BEARS took advantage of a Bridgeport turnover and Mathieu Perreault scored his seventh of the season at 16:28. The two teams went to the dressing room after one tied at two.
Giroux moved within one goal of history in the second period, scoring a power play goal at 15:54 to extend his goal-scoring streak to a HERSHEY franchise record 13 straight games. Giroux moved within one game of Brett Hull's AHL record for goals in consecutive games, a mark Hull set with the Moncton Golden Flames in 1987. The BEARS took a 3-2 lead into the third, when Giroux potted his second of the game and 31st of the season at 7:34. Following Walter's second goal of the game for the Sound Tigers, Francois Bouchard picked up his 12th goal of the season at 11:20 of the third to put the game on ice for the Chocolate and White. The win over Bridgeport was HERSHEY'S second in three tries this season against Bridgeport as Daren Machesney won his 11th game of the season.
Notes: The BEARS announced in conjunction with the American Hockey League and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio that next Friday's game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be carried throughout the United States and Canada on Home Ice XM 204 and Sirius 208. The game is the only AHL broadcast featured on the service during the NHL's All-Star break. HERSHEY returns home Saturday to host the Philadelphia Phantoms at GIANT Center at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Graham Mink missed Friday's game due to illness. Josh Godfrey, Simeon Varlamov and Patrick McNeill were also scratched Friday due to injury or illness. The BEARS and Bridgeport will not meet again until Sunday, March 15, but the two teams still have three games left in the season series. Giroux scored his 30th goal of the season Friday, reaching the 30-goal plateau for the fifth consecutive season. The five straight seasons of 30 goals ties Giroux with former BEARS Brian Dobbin and Don Biggs for third place in league history. Dick Gamble holds the AHL record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons with seven in a row.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Alexandre Giroux (31 goals on the season, and 13 straight)
2. Ben Walter (Two goals for Bridgeport in the losing effort)
3. Francois Bouchard (Three point night with a goal and two assists)