05/03/2009 - BEARS DEFROST PENGUINS
Hershey Heads to Wilkes-Barre with 2-0 Series Lead
By Jess Mikula
HERSHEY drove goaltender John Curry from the game after the first period and blanked the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power play Sunday night, defeating the Penguins by a score of 3-1. The BEARS now lead the best-of-seven series two games to none.
The Chocolate and White took a commanding lead in the first period, scoring three 5-on-5 goals. Oskar Osala sent a slap shot sailing past Curry at 10:38 to put the home team on the board on HERSHEY's second shot of the game. Andrew Joudrey and Staffan Kronwall registered the assists. John Carlson netted his first professional goal, picking up Mathieu Perreault's rebound and putting it past Curry at 13:54. Chris Bourque added the second assist on what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. Graham Mink notched his second goal of the playoffs at 17:51, assisted by Perreault and Greg Amadio. The BEARS were out-shot 10-9 through the period but held a three goal advantage after the first.
Baby Pens netminder Curry was pulled after the first, with Adam Berkhoel taking his place between the pipes to open the second stanza. Neither team would score in the period, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came dangerously close with an extended 5-on-3 power play. HERSHEY played with a two-man deficit for 1:32 and managed to kill both of the penalties. Michal Neuvirth made tremendous saves to keep the Penguins off the score sheet through two periods. The BEARS maintained a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Alex Goligoski potted a 4-on-4 goal to bring the Penguins within two, going top shelf on Neuvirth at 18:04, with assists from Mark Letestu and Reid Cashman. The Chocolate and White held the two-goal advantage through the rest of regulation.
The BEARS went 0-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill Sunday night. Michal Neuvirth backstopped his way to his sixth consecutive win of the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs, stopping 24 of 25 shots.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Michal Neuvirth (24 saves on 25 shots)
2. John Carlson (first pro goal and game-winner)
3. Mathieu Perreault (two assists)
Notes: Tyler Sloan and Karl Alzner missed Sunday night's game due to illness. Chris Bourque has recorded a point in every game of the 2009 postseason for HERSHEY (1-7-8). Goaltender Michal Neuvirth now has 11 wins in his last 12 starts going back to the regular season. The BEARS will head to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday, May 6, and Friday, May 8, for Games 3 and 4, both with 7:05 p.m. puck drop.