03/15/2009 - BEARS TAME TIGERS
Hershey Regains Lead in East Division
By Jess Mikula
Sporting green Saint Patrick's Day sweaters, the BEARS battled to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score of 3-2 Sunday night. With the win, HERSHEY pulled ahead in the East Division points race.
HERSHEY seemed to have struck first, as a wrist shot from Sami Lepisto appeared to ricochet out of the net early in the game, but referee Ian Croft signaled no goal. With Kyle Wilson and Chris Bourque both in the box, the BEARS could not kill an extended two-man deficit. Bridgeport's Jon Sim fired the puck past a diving Daren Machesney to put the visiting team on the board at 15:28. The home team quickly answered, as Bourque went top shelf on Sound Tiger netminder Michael Mole for his 18th of the year, finishing a pass from Andrew Gordon and Wilson at 16:22. The score was deadlocked at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The BEARS nearly took the lead midway through the second period when Bourque broke into the Bridgeport zone short-handed, but Mole made a glove save on the shot. Just after killing the sixth consecutive Bridgeport power play of the night, Oskar Osala buried a screamer from Lepisto and Staffan Kronwall, his 21st of the season, to give the Chocolate and White the go-ahead goal. Alexandre Giroux capitalized on the man advantage, potting his 47th goal of the year and the eventual game winner from the top of the crease at 16:11. Mathieu Perreault and Bourque tallied the assists. The BEARS held a two-goal advantage after two.
The Sound Tigers came back within one in the third period when they were given their second two-man advantage of the night. Andrew MacDonald netted a goal from Sim and Ben Walter at 16:27. The BEARS held off Bridgeport for the remainder of regulation to earn the win.
Daren Machesney earned his 18th win of the season between the pipes, turning aside 36 of 38 shots. HERSHEY went 1-for-4 on the power play and 7-for-9 on the penalty kill in the victory.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Daren Machesney (made 36 saves)
2. Alexandre Giroux (scored the game-winning goal)
3. Chris Bourque (recorded a goal and an assist)
Notes: The Washington Capitals assigned goaltender Michal Neuvirth and recalled goaltender Simeon Varlamov and defenseman Brian Pothier Sunday morning, as the Capitals leave on a five-game road trip. Daren Machesney made his first appearance in net since a 6-4 win against Providence March 1. The BEARS will travel to New England next weekend for games at Lowell, Portland and Manchester. The team will return home for a 7:00 p.m. match-up against the Toronto Marlies Wednesday, March 25. Tickets for the game are available at the GIANT Center box office or by calling (717) 534-3911.