HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny, who wears number 22, scored his 22nd goal of the season 22 seconds into overtime to help the HERSHEY BEARS to a 2-1 win over the Springfield Falcons on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
After each team successfully killed off two power plays, the Falcons got the jump on the hosts with 2:15 remaining in the first period. A dump-in by Brent Regner bounced down off of a BEARS defenseman, right onto the stick of former HERSHEY sniper Alexandre Giroux. The winger let a wrist shot go that sailed into the upper-right corner and past Dany Sabourin.
The BEARS tied the score early in the second on a good cycle play in the left corner. Boyd Kane worked the puck to Sean Collins at the center point. Collins’ slap shot sailed over the net, deflecting to the right of the crease. Matt Pope grabbed the puck and slammed it behind Falcons netminder Paul Dainton before he could recover at 2:29.
Each team earned a two-man advantage in the third period, but was not able to score. A late third-period penalty whistled on Falcons forward Adam Mair would give the BEARS a power play for 1:06 early in the OT. Skating four-on-three, the hosts worked the puck around the top of the offensive zone. Chris Bourque passed to his right for Potulny, whose one-timer snuck past the arm of Dainton for the winner.
Sabourin improves to 11-9-3 on the season, making 23 saves. Dainton takes the overtime loss with 25 saves on 27 shots, and falls to 9-7-0. The BEARS ended the night 1-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The win moves the BEARS record to 30-19-4-5 (71 points).
The BEARS travel to Newfoundland for their first-ever meetings against the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 with faceoff both nights set for 6:00 PM EST. The team returns home to take on the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday, March 16 at 7:00 PM. Tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.