HERSHEY, Pa. – Garrett Mitchell scored the shootout winner, and Dany Sabourin was the star of the show once again as the HERSHEY BEARS erased another deficit against the Charlotte Checkers to win 3-2 on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
After a scoreless first period, the offense for both teams fired up in the middle stanza. The Checkers finally solved the BEARS’ penalty kill at 6:03 when Justin Shugg collected a cross-ice slap pass from Bobby Sanguinetti and beat Sabourin. Zac Dalpe then struck on another man advantage just 1:43 later, after Sabourin kicked out Chris Terry’s shot into the slot. Dalpe pounced on the puck and pushed it home for a 2-0 Checkers lead.
Following a HERSHEY timeout, the hosts began their comeback on a power play at the halfway point of the period. Ryan Potulny collected a pass from Boyd Kane at the right half boards, wound up and fired a slap shot off of a Checkers defenseman and past Checkers goaltender Justin Peters at 10:07.
Cody Eakin then registered his second game-tying goal of the weekend at 14:40. The rookie attempted a pass from the left corner to a streaking Chris Bourque, but Charlotte defenseman Brett Bellemore made a diving block. The puck came right back to Eakin, who stickhandled along the goal line around Bellemore and Peters and stuffed a backhand shot into an empty net.
The two teams would play a scoreless third period and the BEARS were also unable to strike on an overtime power play. The Checkers took the first shootout chance, which Rasmus Rissanen missed. Potulny missed on his opportunity, but the BEARS ended up scoring on three of their next four chances with goals from Kane, Eakin and the winner from Mitchell to seal the victory.
Sabourin stopped 35 shots in regulation and overtime, and was named the game’s number one star as he won his sixth consecutive start to improve to 17-9-4. Peters took the shootout loss and dropped to 6-10-2 with 27 total saves.
The BEARS ended the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
With the win, the BEARS remain one point out of fourth place in the Eastern Conference (37-20-4-6, 84 points).
The BEARS will head to the Southern Tier to take on the Binghamton Senators on Wednesday, March 28 at 7:05 PM. The team returns home on Saturday to host the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:00 PM. A limited number of tickets remain for the contest.
Tickets for this and all remaining regular-season home games are on sale by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.