HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny scored his first goal of the postseason 2:57 into overtime on a power play, sending the HERSHEY BEARS to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, on Wednesday night at GIANT Center.
The BEARS needed a fast start and they got it, skating out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of “firsts” by the end of the first period. D.J. King stationed himself to the right of Brad Thiessen’s goal crease and watched as Thiessen paddled down a Zach Miskovic point shot. King jabbed at the puck and slid it over the goal line at 6:15, giving the BEARS a 1-0 edge with his first in a HERSHEY uniform.
Cameron Schilling made it 2-0 with a slap shot from the left point that sailed low and inside the right post behind Thiessen. The goal was Schilling’s first as a professional and came with 2:57 left in the first period.
The Penguins chipped into the lead with a power play goal when Cal O’Reilly deposited the rebound of Geoff Walker’s shot 38 seconds into the second period. Dany Sabourin made a pad stop on Walker but the rebound slid right to O’Reilly who had an open net at which to shoot.
Eric Tangradi then tied the score after BEARS defensemen Julien Brouillette’s pass attempt from the right corner deflected off of a referee’s skate and perfectly into the slot. Tangradi promptly fired a wrist shot past Sabourin at 6:22 of the third.
The BEARS regained the lead when Cody Eakin hustled to pick up a puck in the left corner. He passed to Jacob Micflikier, who in turn quickly spotted Kyle Greentree in front. Greentree one-timed the puck past Thiessen at 16:43.
But a BEARS penalty gave the Penguins their sixth power play of the night, and Alex Grant one-timed a pass from Simon Despres through Sabourin’s pads with 3:17 left in regulation to tie the score.
The BEARS then earned a power play when Nick Petersen caught Boyd Kane with a high stick. On the ensuing man advantage, Graham Mink fed Tomas Kundratek for a slap shot from the point. The shot deflected wide to Thiessen’s right, to a waiting Potulny. His sharp-angle shot found the net and sent the BEARS to victory.
Sabourin won his first game of the playoffs, making 26 saves. Thiessen falls to 2-1 with 18 saves. The BEARS finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS now trail the best-of-five series two games to one.
The series remains at GIANT Center for Game Four (Game “BB”) on Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.