03/01/2009 - GIROUX, BOURQUE LEAD BEARS TO VICTORY SUNDAY
By: John Walton
HERSHEY finished a strong week, defeating the Atlantic Division leading Providence Bruins 6-4 at GIANT Center. The win gave the BEARS six points out of a possible eight on the week.
Graham Mink got the scoring started for the BEARS in the first period Sunday, scoring his 27th of the campaign just 4:01 into the contest. Providence would rally with a goal by Mikko Lehtonen at 8:32 to tie the game at 1-1. Daren Machesney stopped 11 of 12 shots in the first period for HERSHEY, while Tuukka Rask made 10 saves on 11 opportunities.
HERSHEY scored three times in the second period to take a 4-2 lead, mostly with the help of Alexandre Giroux. Giroux picked up his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season in the second, while Chris Bourque potted his 16th of the year. Zach Hamill had scored a four-on-four goal at 4:42 of the period to give the Bruins a lead, but the Chocolate and White scored three unanswered to close out the period.
The game remained close throughout much of the third period, but the BEARS would pull away with goals from Karl Alzner and Bourque's second of the night. Jeremy Reich would score a late power play goal in the closing seconds, with HERSHEY earning a 6-4 win over the first place team in the Atlantic Division. Machesney won his second game in less than 24 hours and his team leading 17th of the year.
Notes: The BEARS head to Toronto Saturday to play the Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. Face-off in southern Ontario is at 4:00 p.m. HERSHEY will also travel to Cleveland next Sunday to play the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena. Giroux's 43rd goal represents a new career high, besting his 42 goals scored two years ago for the Chocolate and White. Mink's first period goal gave the Stowe, VT native goals in four straight games and in five of his last six. Bob Woods said in his postgame press conference that Simeon Varlamov is expected to travel with the BEARS and play next weekend on the road trip.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Alexandre Giroux (Two goals, a career-best 43 on the season)
2. Chris Bourque (Two goals, three points, +3)
3. Mathieu Perreault (Three assists)