HERSHEY, Pa. – Brandon Segal scored two power play goals, including the game-winner, and the Hershey Bears gave goaltender Riley Gill his first home-ice win with a 5-3 decision over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night in front of 10.469 fans at GIANT Center.
The Bears would get on the board first after forcing a turnover in the Bridgeport zone. Segal made a short pass to Ryan Stoa, who skated in alone at an angle from the left circle and lifted a shot under the crossbar behind Sound Tigers goaltender Kenny Reiter at 7:22.
The Sound Tigers would later counter after an extended amount of time in the offensive zone. Riley Wetmore found the rebound of his backhand attempt, and slid a shot past Gill at 15:08.
The offense opened up in the middle period, with four combined goals in the final six minutes. Bridgeport struck first to take their first lead of the game, when Pierre-Marc Bouchard collected a long cross-ice pass from Mike Cornell and ripped a wrist shot over the glove of Gill at 13:50.
The Bears answered that goal less than a minute later. Reiter made three tricky saves from in close, but Jeff Taffe found a fourth chance and buried it with a shot into the upper-right corner at 14:35.
Segal then knocked in his 12th goal of the season while the Bears worked their third power play. Collecting a pass from Taffe, Segal fired a one-timer high into the net from the right faceoff circle at 18:13, restoring the Bears’ lead.
But, with time winding down, the Sound Tigers found themselves with one last opportunity to shoot the puck. Defenseman Mike Keenan did just that, and his shot found its way through Gill’s pads with 9.3 seconds left in the period, tying the score at the intermission.
The two teams played without a mistake through most of the third period, until a penalty was called on Marc Cantin for tripping Nicolas Deschamps. On the power play, Segal found the rebound of a blast from Nate Schmidt, and with 2:57 left to play, backhanded it home with Reiter out of position for a 4-3 lead.
Cameron Schilling iced the win with an empty-net tally at 19:48.
Gill improves to 2-1-0 on the season with 28 saves on 31 shots. Reiter took the loss with 17 saves on 21 shots, falling to 7-9-2.
The Bears improve to 18-14-3-3 on the season with the win.
The Bears remain home to host the Albany Devils tomorrow, January 19 at 5:00 PM. Tickets for this and all Bears home games are available at the GIANT Center box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling (717) 508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Stanislav Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and LW Nathan Walker…The healthy scratches were LW Josh Brittain, D Julien Brouillette, D David Kolomatis, LW John Mitchell and LW Derek Whitmore… Hershey finished the night 2-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill…RW Brandon Segal extended his point streak to seven games with his three points (9-8-17)…C Jeff Taffe extended his point streak to four games with his first three-point performance of the season, and shows (2-5-7) in the span…C Michael Latta’s second-period assist extended his point streak to four games since his return from Washington one week ago (1-4-5).