MANCHESTER, N.H. – Ryan Potulny scored twice, Casey Wellman set up three goals and Boyd Kane recorded his 500th career AHL point, but the Manchester Monarchs scored three times in the second period to wipe out a three-goal deficit en route to a 6-4 win over the HERSHEY BEARS on Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Bears used a huge break to turn their fortune around and take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. On a two-on-one rush, Monarchs forward Linden Vey fired a shot from the right circle off of the left and right goal post behind Philipp Grubauer. Video replay confirmed that the puck did not cross the goal line and the game remained scoreless.
On the Bears’ second power play of the night, Potulny set up shop at the right side of the goal crease guarded by Martin Jones. Jeff Taffe sent a pass from the right half wall to the top of the left circle for Wellman. The winger then placed a perfect pass onto Potulny’s tape for a tap-in at 16:17.
Kane then headed to the front of the net as time was ticking down in the period. Cameron Schilling fired a slap shot into traffic, and the captain deflected the shot past Jones with 10.9 seconds left on the clock to give the Bears a 2-0 edge. The goal gave Kane his 500th career AHL point.
Potulny’s second goal of the game increased the Bears’ lead to 3-0 at 4:13 of the second frame. Off of a Manchester turnover in the neutral zone, Wellman sent a pass to Kane who cut down the left wing. His pass found Potulny for a one-timer that clanged in off of the post.
Just over one minute later, the Monarchs began their comeback. Andy Andreoff collected a pass in the right-wing circle, then turned and fired a snap shot over the shoulder of Grubauer at 6:16.
The Monarchs cut their deficit to one goal when Brandon Kozun used his speed to chase a puck into the Bears’ end of the ice. Two Bears defensemen converged on him but Kozun spun a perfect behind-the- back pass to a charging Colton Yellow Horn, who had a virtually empty net to hit at 9:46.
On the Monarchs’ lone power play of the game, the hosts tied the score. Grubauer made two saves as time was winding down in the period, but Jordan Weal threw the puck in front from deep in the left-wing corner. The puck banked in past Grubauer with one-tenth of a second left in the frame.
Playing in a 3-3 tie, the Bears were unable to cash in on a power play early in the third period. Later, Manchester would take their first lead of the game when Yellow Horn batted a puck down at the top of the crease and past Grubauer at 13:37.
Linden Vey scored the first of his two goals on a blast from the high slot through traffic, giving the hosts a two-goal cushion at 14:48.
But the Bears were able to get back within one when Peter LeBlanc chased the rebound of Ryan Stoa’s shot at the net front and slid it past Jones at 16:03.
Vey would hit the empty net with less than five seconds left to play to round out the scoring.
Grubauer’s record falls to 10-6-2 with 23 saves on 28 shots. Jones improved to 20-21-4, making 26 saves on 30 shots. The Bears finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS conclude their road trip tomorrow, March 24 with a 3:00 PM matchup against the Worcester Sharks from the DCU Center. The club will return home on Saturday, March 30 for a 7:00 PM matchup against the Providence Bruins. All fans in attendance will receive a ticket to Pocono International Raceway for the June 8th NASCAR Event Weekend, and all fans will also have the opportunity to come down onto the ice post-game for the Dietz and Watson Ham Shoot and a chance to win Easter food items.
Tickets for the three remaining BEARS home games may be purchased at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.