HERSHEY, Pa. – Philipp Grubauer made 40 saves to pick up his first AHL shutout, while Patrick McNeill’s fluke shorthanded goal stood up as the game-winner in a 3-0 decision over the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night at a sold-out GIANT Center.
The BEARS came out of the locker room ready to go, and set the tone early on a hit delivered by Matt Clackson on former BEARS defenseman Danny Syvret. Not thrilled by the hit, Phantoms defenseman Brandon Manning dropped the mitts with Clackson. The fight actually negated what would have been a goal by Jon Kalinski as the referee’s whistle had blown before the goal. Manning earned an extra two minutes but the BEARS could not cash in on the power play.
Facing an Adirondack power play 12:41 into the period, McNeill attempted a clear down the left boards. Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe vacated the net to play the puck, but it hit a support in the side glass and caromed into the net at 14:03 for a shorthanded tally and a 1-0 BEARS lead.
After an apparent tying goal by Jon Sim was waved off after video replay confirmed that the puck was kicked in, Phantoms defenseman Andreas Lilja was flagged for roughing, giving the BEARS their third power play of the period. The team connected when Ryan Potulny bagged the rebound of a Taffe deflection at the net front at 15:00, extending their lead to 2-0.
Ryan Stoa buried his ninth goal of the season on a third-period power play to round out the scoring. Grubauer made 33 of his 40 saves in the final 40 minutes of play.
Grubauer improves to 6-3-1 with the win, while Munroe saw his record drop to 11-13-0 with 25 saves on 28 shots. The BEARS finished the night 2-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
HERSHEY will take to the road to face the Albany Devils at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall tomorrow, February 24 at 4:00 PM. The BEARS’ next home game is set for Saturday, March 2 at 7:00 PM against the Norfolk Admirals. Individual tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.