04/22/2009 - BEARS UP THREE GAMES TO NONE IN EAST SEMIS AFTER 3-2 WIN AT GIANT CENTER WEDNESDAY NIGHT
By: John Walton
HERSHEY moved within one victory of the 2009 East Division Finals Wednesday night, slipping by the Philadelphia Phantoms in Game 3 of the East Division Semi-Finals 3-2 at GIANT Center. The win put the BEARS position to advance to the second round as soon as Friday night.
Staffan Kronwall opened the scoring Wednesday night with his second goal of the postseason. The goal at 8:27 came on the power play from Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux, and gave HERSHEY a 1-0 lead. Late in the period, Mathieu Perreault would lift the BEARS to a 2-0 lead, scoring at 19:33. Perreault's goal came on a breakaway as he exited the penalty box for a goaltender interference call at 17:26. With 12 shots to Philadelphia's six, the BEARS led 2-0 after one. Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe made 10 saves to six for HERSHEY'S Michal Neuvirth.
The Phantoms got one back in the second period when Jonathan Kalinski scored his first of the postseason at 15:54. Worse than the goal against, HERSHEY defenseman Staffan Kronwall was injured when Kalinski's stick made contact with Kronwall's face. Kronwall left the game and did not return. The goal proved to be the only marker of the period, and the BEARS took a 2-1 lead into the final period. Alexandre Giroux scored just 1:20 into the third period to give HERSHEY a 3-1 advantage. The goal from Giroux became the game winner when Lasse Kukkonen scored a short-handed goal at 6:19. The win for the BEARS lifted the top seed in the East Division within one game of advancing to the 2009 East Division Finals. The Chocolate and White now lead the series three games to none.
Notes: HERSHEY will host Game 4 of the East Division Semi-Finals this Friday night at 7:00 p.m., with tickets on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. For the third straight game, Coach Woods opted to keep the same lineup, scratching Patrick McNeill, Joe Finley, Sean Collins, Stefan Della Rovere, Darren Reid, Grant McNeill, Sami Lepisto and Kip Brennan. The BEARS honored longtime season ticket holder Bob Sensenderfer with a moment of silence prior the start of the game. Sensenderfer, a season ticket holder since 1986, passed away on Monday at the age of 60. Coach Woods said in his postgame press conference that Kronwall was taken to the hospital after the high stick he sustained in the second period. His status for Friday's game is uncertain.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Alexandre Giroux (Scored second straight game-winning goal)
2. Michal Neuvirth (Perhaps his best game of the series to date)
3. Mathieu Perreault (Scored big goal late in first)