HERSHEY, Pa. – Garrett Mitchell finally solved Bridgeport Sound Tigers goaltender Kenny Reiter at 2:49 of overtime, sending the HERSHEY BEARS to a 1-0 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 10,825 on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
The two teams battled through a scoreless first period, but it was Reiter who came up with the bigger saves. Off of a turnover in front of him, Reiter had to stop Ryan Stoa point-blank after Stoa had a puck bounce to him behind the Bridgeport defense. Reiter also stopped Stoa on an off-wing shot from the right circle, and a Casey Wellman five-hole attempt off of a faceoff win. Philipp Grubauer’s best save of the period came with a glove stop on a partial breakaway by Nino Niederreiter.
In a second period with shots even at 11 each, Reiter would again be the more tested. His save of the period came on a point-blank chance from Cameron Schilling at the bottom of the left faceoff circle.
Following another even, scoreless third period, the two teams headed to overtime and each had chances early. Mitchell finally ended the goaltending battle when his one-timer from the bottom of the left circle off of a pass from Jeff Taffe sailed past Reiter.
Reiter’s solid bid for his first AHL victory came up short as his record dropped to 0-4-1, but he earned the game’s third star in making 31 saves. Grubauer stopped all 27 shots he faced in recording his second shutout of the season and improved to 9-5-1. The BEARS finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The HERSHEY BEARS remain home tomorrow, March 17 and will host the Adirondack Phantoms at 5:00 PM. The first 3,500 fans will receive a gift card courtesy of Hershey CKC Pharmacy, and all fans are invited to stay for a live post-game auction of the BEARS’ special St. Patrick’s Day-themed jerseys. Only a limited number of Individual tickets and standing-room-only areas are available and may be purchsed at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.