WORCESTER, Mass. – Barry Almeida scored his first professional goal in his HERSHEY BEARS debut and Andrew Carroll scored his first of the season in the final game, but Harri Sateri stopped 34 other shots to help the Worcester Sharks earn a 3-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center.
On his second shift of the game, Almeida headed to the net front after Mike Carman stole a puck on the left half boards. Carman walked the puck toward the goal line, then sent a perfect pass in front that Almeida snapped past Sateri at 2:57 to give the BEARS a 1-0 lead.
Yanni Gourde also scored his first professional goal at 8:12, tying the game. After BEARS goaltender Scott Greenham blocked the point shot of Matt Irwin, the puck hopped over the stick of a HERSHEY forward on its way to the high slot. Gourde caught it, turned and sent a wrist shot through traffic and under the crossbar.
It took just 12 seconds for the BEARS to regain their lead. D.J. King finished a hit in the right corner to gain possession of the puck, then passed it around the net for Garrett Mitchell. Mitchell carried the puck in front but fanned on his shot. With Sateri already down, Carroll jumped on the loose puck and poked it into the net to push the BEARS ahead 2-1.
A penalty to Cameron Schilling carried over into the second period, allowing the Sharks to work an early power play. Just 49 seconds into the frame, Gourde passed to the left point. Irwin took a wrist shot that deflected in off the right post and behind Greenham, tying the game.
A failed BEARS clearing attempt led to the Sharks’ go-ahead goal. Gourde collected the puck in the right circle and swept a shot toward the net. John McCarthy and Tim Kennedy were each there, and Kennedy got the stick on the puck first to push it into the net at 13:30.
Neither team would be able to score in a third period featuring nine shots for each.
Sateri improves to 15-20-1 with the win, while Greenham made 32 saves in a losing effort. It was his first setback with the BEARS, and overall his record drops to 0-3-0.
The BEARS finished the night 0-for-1 on the PP and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
HERSHEY ends the regular season with a record of 38-26-4-8 (88 points), and will now open the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on the road next Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, at 7:05 PM against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The best-of-five series will shift to GIANT Center for Games Three and, if necessary, Game Four on Wednesday and Friday, April 25 and 27 with faceoff both nights at 7:00 PM.
Tickets for Game “AA” (Game Three) are on sale now and may be purchased by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting ticketmaster.com.