HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny set up a shorthanded goal and later scored the power-play game-winner, while Dany Sabourin turned aside 25 shots for his and the HERSHEY BEARS’ fourth consecutive victory, a 3-2 decision over the St. John’s IceCaps on Wednesday night at a sold-out GIANT Center.
Mike Carman opened up the scoring with his sixth of the season on the game’s first shot on goal. Driving the lane, Carman angled a pass from Garrett Mitchell over the glove of Eddie Pasquale and under the crossbar at 1:56 of the opening period. Matt Pope earned the secondary helper.
The IceCaps had a chance to tie the game when they earned their first power play late in the period. But it would be Potulny and Boyd Kane forcing St. John’s defenseman Jason DeSantis into a turnover at the defensive blue line. Kane took off on a breakaway after collecting Potulny’s pass, and beat Pasquale under the glove for a 2-0 lead at 18:20.
Potulny’s power-play goal came via a one-timer from the right circle at 10:16 of the second period. Chris Bourque worked the center point, collected a pass from Kyle Greentree and in turn fired it across to set up Potulny’s strike and a 3-0 lead.
The IceCaps then took control of the period and scored twice to cut into the BEARS’ lead. At 12:12, Jason King set up at the top of Sabourin’s crease and tapped in a pass from Josh Lunden. Just over two minutes later, Aaron Gagnon had a puck come back to him after Sabourin kicked out a shot from Travis Ramsey. The puck deflected in off of Gagnon’s leg at 14:35 and made it a 3-2 game.
Neither team was able to score for the rest of the period or in the third, despite alternating abundant power play chances. After the BEARS failed on 38 seconds of a two-man advantage late in the game, the IceCaps took Pasquale off for an extra attacker but could not even the contest.
Sabourin improves to 15-9-4 with the win, while Pasquale made 18 saves and fell to 20-11-2. The BEARS ended the night 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-6 on the power play.
With the win, the BEARS pull to within three points of the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, holding a record of 35-20-4-6 (80 points).
The BEARS will welcome the Charlotte Checkers for a pair of games this weekend, the first being played on Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive a Keith Aucoin bobblehead figurine courtesy of Ford. Tickets for this and all remaining regular-season home games are on sale by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.