HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny scored a power play goal to break a third-period tie and Dany Sabourin turned in a 30-save performance to help the HERSHEY BEARS come back and defeat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 on Saturday night at a sold-out GIANT Center.
The BEARS found themselves trailing 1-0 late in the first period. With the Checkers working on their second power play of the frame and time winding down, Bobby Sanguinetti fired a slap shot from the right point that eluded Sabourin at 19:22.
The Checkers held their lead until midway through the third period. Chris Bourque was able to block a Charlotte clearing attempt at the right point, and then sneak a pass into the slot for a wide-open Cody Eakin. The rookie center waited for Checkers netminder Mike Murphy to commit, and flipped a shot between his pads to tie the game at 7:16.
The BEARS used a penalty kill against a Charlotte two-man advantage to take over momentum. Sean Dolan was whistled for boarding shortly afterward, which gave the BEARS a fifth chance on their power play. Murphy made a save on Potulny’s original chance, then lost the puck in traffic. The puck slid to the right of the pile where Potulny pounced on it and snapped it past Murphy’s glove at 15:26.
Sabourin stood tall the rest of the way, as did the BEARS’ penalty kill, which needed to succeed in the game’s final 1:34.
Sabourin won his fifth consecutive start and improved to 16-9-4. Murphy turned aside 25 shots in a losing effort and fell to 17-13-2.
The BEARS finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.
The win was the sixth consecutive for the BEARS at GIANT Center and fifth overall, and pulls the team to within one point of the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with a record that improves to 36-20-4-6 (82 points).
The BEARS will host the Charlotte Checkers again tomorrow evening at 5:00 PM. Tickets for this and all remaining regular-season home games are on sale by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.