04/03/2009 - TIGERS EDGE HERSHEY 4-3 IN OVERTIME FRIDAY
By: John Walton
A back-and-forth game Friday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard fell into the win column for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, as the home team prevailed 4-3 in overtime. HERSHEY gained a point in defeat, but the Sound Tigers would close within two points of first place with just over a week to go in the 2008-09 regular season.
Bridgeport would strike first Friday with a goal from Jamie Fraser, as he scored off a Jesse Joensuu rebound at 3:36. HERSHEY would rebound nicely late in the period however when Grant McNeill scored off a Kip Brennan rebound at 17:46 to tie the game. The BEARS took a 2-1 lead just 37 seconds later on a power play goal from Mathieu Perreault at 18:23. The Chocolate and White would put 11 shots on Bridgeport goaltender Peter Mannino in the first period, while Daren Machesney would stop eight of nine he faced.
The BEARS began the second period by picking up an even strength goal from Darren Reid at 2:47, giving HERSHEY a 3-1 lead. Bridgeport would battle back to close within a goal at 11:14 of the second when Joensuu tipped a Fraser shot past Machesney. The second period ended Saturday just the way it began, with the BEARS in front by one.
The third period saw Bridgeport come up with tremendous jump, and Tyler Haskins tied the game at 3-3 with a goal at 5:43. The teams would battle the rest of regulation and into overtime tied up, but the Sound Tigers would not be denied in sudden death. Sean Bentivoglio scored the game-winner just 25 seconds into overtime to give Bridgeport the victory. HERSHEY leads the tight East Division race by two points over the Tigers 102 to 100 with a game in hand, and leads Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by four. The Penguins hold one game in hand on the BEARS.
Notes: The BEARS will play the third game of the current four-game road trip Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre Township against the Penguins. Face-off is at 7:05 p.m. The final game of the trip will be Friday, April 10 in Philadelphia against the Phantoms before closing out the regular season April 11 and 12 at GIANT Center. Tickets for next Saturday's game against Philadelphia and next Sunday's game versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Sean Bentivoglio (Scored game-winning goal in OT)
2. Tyler Haskins (Picked up game-tying goal in third)
3. Grant McNeill (Scored Hershey's first goal, fought Mitch Fritz)