HERSHEY, Pa. – Pavel Valentenko scored the only goal of the game in the second period, and Cameron Talbot turned aside all 24 shots to push the Connecticut Whale to a 1-0 victory over the HERSHEY BEARS on Sunday evening at GIANT Center in the BEARS’ regular-season home finale.
The two teams played through a scoreless opening period, with both Dany Sabourin and Talbot making good saves mainly against the opposition’s power play.
Valentenko’s goal came at 7:59 of the middle period. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault collected a faceoff win and fed the right point, where Valentenko took a low slap shot that beat Sabourin to the stick side. Casey Wellman earned the other assist.
The game turned chippy in the third, with three players being assessed misconduct penalties after a scrum in front of the Connecticut goal. With 6:57 remaining and the BEARS trailing 1-0, Mike Carman took a high hit that dislodged his helmet. He retaliated on defenseman Tim Erixon, earning a major penalty for spearing and forcing the BEARS to the kill for most of the time remaining. The BEARS had several shorthanded chances, but the Whale defense held strong. HERSHEY earned a power play with 26 seconds remaining but could not find the equalizer.
Sabourin, who earned the number three star of the game, stopped 25 of 26 in taking a tough loss and fell to 18-12-5. Talbot’s fourth shutout evens his record at 14-14-0.
The BEARS ended the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The loss drops the BEARS record to 38-23-4-8 (88 points) and keeps the club in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
The BEARS will hit the road for New England, and will take on the Portland Pirates on Friday, April 13 at 7:00 PM.
Tickets for the opening game of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals are on sale now, and may be purchased by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.