02/08/2009 - BEARS PLUNDERED BY PIRATES
Hershey Fails to Forge Comeback in Third Period
By Jess Mikula
HERSHEY would score early but ultimately fall Sunday night, as the Portland Pirates dealt the BEARS a 3-2 loss in regulation.
Graham Mink opened scoring Sunday with his third goal in as many nights, potting a power play marker for his 19th of the year at 2:24. Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux tallied the assists. Portland answered with a goal from Derek Whitmore at 6:50. The BEARS struck again at 11:39, as Quintin Laing scored his ninth of the season from Andrew Gordon and Kyle Wilson. Portland evened the score again late in the period, with Aaron Slattengren beating Michal Neuvirth at 17:20. The score was knotted at two after one.
The Pirates scored the lone goal of the second period, taking their first lead of the game. Mike Kostka buried a screamer at 8:17, assisted by Mark Mancari and Marc-Andre Gragnani. HERSHEY carried a one-goal deficit to the dressing room after 40 minutes.
In an effort that would have tied the score at 3-3, Jay Beagle put the puck in the net, but the goal was waived. Portland held onto the lead through the remainder of regulation to earn the victory.
Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves, as he suffered his third loss of the season in goal. The BEARS went 1-for-3 on the power play and out-shot the Pirates 39-28.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. John DeCaro
2. Nathan Gerbe
3. Graham Mink
Notes: HERSHEY will remain at home to complete a three-game homestand Wednesday when the Hamilton Bulldogs visit GIANT Center at 7:00 p.m. The BEARS will then make the club's first trip to Binghamton this season on Friday night. Neuvirth was assigned Sunday morning by Washington, along with Giroux. The BEARS now have 28 regular season games remaining, 13 of which will be at home. Tickets for Wednesday's game against Hamilton are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell attended the game.