02/28/2009 - MINK SCORES TWICE AS BEARS RALLY TO 6-4 WIN
By: John Walton
The BEARS, needing a win with the race tightening in the East Division, rallied late in the third period to defeat the Norfolk Admirals Saturday 6-4 at GIANT Center.
Grant McNeill, a scratch Friday night in Binghamton, scored the game's first goal Saturday night, tipping a Patrick McNeill shot past Norfolk goaltender Craig Kowalski. The goal at 7:17 gave the BEARS a 1-0 lead. Norfolk tied the game with a goal by Brandon Bochenski at 12:25 and took a 2-1 lead when Paul Szczechura picked up his 12th of the season. Graham Mink rallied the BEARS with his 25th of the season at 17:25, but Bochenski would again beat Daren Machesney with his 23rd of the season at 19:51. The Admirals led 3-2 after 20 minutes.
The teams traded goals in the second period, with Zenon Konopka striking at the 11:43 mark for his 12th goal of the season for Norfolk. HERSHEY rebounded to again close the deficit to a single goal when Oskar Osala scored his 20th goal of the year at 17:48. After two, the BEARS trailed the Admirals 4-3.
Into the third period, after several scoring chances for both teams, the BEARS turned to Graham Mink. Mink's second goal of the game and 26th of the season came at 16:57 of the third period, and Mathieu Perreault scored just 28 seconds later to give HERSHEY the lead. With the BEARS leading 5-4, Chris Bourque was tackled from behind as he tried to shoot into the empty net, and was credited with his 15th goal at 19:46 although the puck never entered the net. HERSHEY took a 6-4 lead on the goal and essentially clinched the victory. Norfolk forward Steve Downie then returned to center ice for the face-off and slashed linesman Mike Hamilton across the right shin. Referee Jeff Smith assessed a game misconduct on Downie for physical abuse of officials under ruler 41.2 category one. The ruling calls for an automatic 20-game suspension. Norfolk has just 21 games remaining.
The win for Daren Machesney was his 16th of the season, rebounding after getting pulled Wednesday in Binghamton. Machesney made 37 saves. Kowalski absorbed the loss, his second in three decisions.
Notes: The BEARS host the Providence Bruins Sunday at GIANT Center, wrapping up a stretch of four games in five nights. Face-off is at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. The goal for Osala was his first since January 16 at Bridgeport.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Graham Mink (Two goals, including the game-tying strike late)
2.Mathieu Perreault (Scored the game-winner 28 seconds after Mink tied it)
3. Brandon Bochenski (Two goals in the loss for Norfolk)