HERSHEY, Pa. – Connecticut Whale netminder Chad Johnson made 39 saves, while forward Tommy Grant scored twice to propel their team to a 4-1 victory over the HERSHEY BEARS on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
The two teams played back-and-forth hockey with few whistles through the first half of the first period, but it was Connecticut scoring first with 4:00 left in the frame. Carrying the puck down the left wing, Grant took an off-wing snap shot that slipped under the arm of Dany Sabourin.
It took only another 1:19 for the BEARS to pull even. Boyd Kane was able to work the puck back to the center point for Tomas Kundratek. The BEARS defenseman took aim with a slap shot and Cody Eakin got a stick on it to deflect it through Johnson’s pads.
On Connecticut’s second power play of the game, the visitors took a lead when leading scorer Kris Newbury fired a wrist shot inside the right post and past Sabourin at 12:10 of the second. The Whale then scored an insurance goal when Andre Deveaux finished off an odd-man rush by collecting a pass from Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and flipping the puck into the upper part of the net at 13:32.
The visitors finished off the scoring when Kelsey Tessier won a faceoff in the left circle, and Grant picked up the puck to fire it inside the right post at 13:50.
The BEARS earned a late power play and got Sabourin to the bench for a sixth attacker, but Connecticut’s penalty kill and Johnson’s goaltending kept the BEARS off of the board.
Sabourin drops to 10-7-2 with the loss, making 17 saves on 21 shots. Johnson improves to 12-9-5 on the season.
The BEARS finished without a power play goal for the second consecutive night, finishing 0-for-5. The penalty kill finished 3-for-4.
HERSHEY drops to 25-15-4-3 (57 points) on the season, and are tied for second place in the East Division.
The BEARS remain at home to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow, February 5 with a special 2:00 PM faceoff. Individual tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.