05/06/2009 - BEARS FALL TO THE WATERFOWL
Hershey Drops Game Three in Overtime
By Jess Mikula
Despite two power play goals, the BEARS could not come up with a win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday night, falling 3-2 to the Penguins in overtime. The loss is the first for the BEARS in seven contests in the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs. HERSHEY leads the series two games to one.
Graham Mink would put the visiting team on the board Wednesday night, netting his third goal of the postseason just seven seconds into a Chocolate and White power play at 10:45 of the first. Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque tallied the assists. The BEARS killed off a high-sticking double minor to Francois Bouchard to keep Wilkes-Barre/Scranton off the score sheet. HERSHEY was out-shot 12-9 through the first 20 minutes of play but carried a 1-0 advantage to the dressing room.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled much of the second and out-shot the BEARS by a 10-7 margin. The Baby Pens evened the score late in the period, as Jeff Taffe buried a one timer from the left circle at 17:24. Connor James and Alex Goligoski recorded the assists on the 4-on-4 goal. The score was deadlocked at 1-1 after two periods.
Giroux gave the BEARS the go-ahead goal in the third period, going backdoor on Penguins netminder Adam Berkhoel for the power play marker. Giroux's fourth of the playoffs came at 3:20, assisted by Keith Aucoin and Staffan Kronwall. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Paul Bissonnette left the ice clutching his hand at 7:02, a trail of blood behind him. The Baby Pens found the answer to Giroux with a power play goal of their own from Bill Thomas at 16:16 to knot the game at 2-2. Neither team scored through the remainder of regulation, though HERSHEY backstop Michal Neuvirth faced a barrage of shots from the home team.
Mark Letestu was the hero for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, beating a fallen Neuvirth for the game winner 4:48 into overtime, with helpers from Johnson and Deryk Engelland.
Michal Neuvirth suffered his first defeat of the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs in net Wednesday night, making 40 saves in the loss. HERSHEY went 2-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill but was out-shot 43-25.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Michal Neuvirth (40 saves on 43 shots)
2. Mark Letestu (game-winning goal in overtime)
3. Alexandre Giroux (goal and an assist)
Notes: Defensemen Tyler Sloan and Karl Alzner were recalled by the Washington Capitals on Monday. Sloan made his NHL playoff debut and recorded his first playoff point with an assist in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Washington Monday night. Chris Bourque has now registered a point in all seven contests of the postseason (1-8-9). On this date in 2006, BEARS backstop Frederic Cassivi posted a 5-0 shutout in Game 2 of the East Division Finals against the Penguins at Wachovia Arena, with Boyd Kane scoring the game winner in the first period. Three of the 20 clubs in AHL history to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 0-2 have been Wilkes-Barre/Scranton teams (2004, 2005, and 2006). The BEARS return to Wachovia Arena for Games 4 and 5 of the East Division Finals Friday and Saturday, both with 7:05 p.m. puck drops.