03/19/2010 - BEARS TRAP RATS 8-2
Seven Skaters Combine for 8 Goals in 24th Straight Win at Home
By Jess Mikula
After seeing two separate leads erased, the BEARS scored six unanswered goals to defeat the visiting Albany River Rats by an 8-2 margin Friday night. The victory gave HERSHEY its AHL-record 24th consecutive win on home ice and franchise best 52nd win of the season.
Chris Bourque struck first for the BEARS, finishing a drop pass from Jay Beagle for his 21st goal of the season at 13:18. Bryan Helmer tallied the secondary assist. Albany answered, as Jonathan Paiement launched a one timer from the point at 15:01, assisted by Elgin Reid and Nick Dodge. Andrew Gordon battled three River Rats in the slot and fired a shot past Albany netminder Mike Morrison to reclaim the lead for HERSHEY in the final minute of the first. Grant Lewis and Patrick Wellar added the assists on Gordon's 32nd of the year at 19:18. The BEARS carried a one-goal lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes.
Braden Holtby relieved an injured Michal Neuvirth in net to start the second period. The River Rats knotted the score at two goals apiece with Paiement's second of the night on the power play at 4:42, from Jerome Samson and Chris Terry. HERSHEY found the go-ahead goal with Keith Aucoin's 33rd of the season, a deflection of Alexandre Giroux's shot from the left circle at 5:30. Michael Dubuc connected with Boyd Kane and Andrew Joudrey to pot his fifth goal of the year just as power play time expired at 10:48. The Chocolate and White maintained a 4-2 advantage after two.
HERSHEY piled on four more goals in the third period. Kane notched his 22nd of the season at 2:10, from Bourque and Mathieu Perreault. Giroux added a power play marker at 10:16, as his shot from the right circle trickled five-hole on Morrison. Bourque and Karl Alzner registered the assists on Giroux's 37th goal of the year. Aucoin found his second goal of the game, stripping Albany's Casey Borer of the puck at the BEARS blueline and breaking one-on-none into the River Rats' zone for the 4-on-4 tally at 15:50. Newcomer Ashton Rome rounded out scoring for the home team with his fourth goal of the season and first as a BEAR from Kyle Wilson and Joudrey at 19:38.
Neuvirth surrendered one goal on five shots before he left the game. Rookie backstop Holtby stopped 13 of 14 shots to earn his 21st win of the season in net. The HERSHEY power play converted once in five chances, and the penalty kill denied Albany on four of five opportunities.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Patrick Wellar (one assist, plus-5 rating)
2. Keith Aucoin (two goals)
3. Chris Bourque (one goal, two assists)
Notes: Steve Pinizzotto, Zach Miskovic, Grant McNeill and Dylan Yeo were all healthy scratches for Friday's game. The BEARS head to Syracuse for a 7:30 p.m. match-up against the Crunch Saturday night before hosting the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday with a 5:00 p.m. puck drop. Tickets for Sunday's game are still available at the Giant Center box office or by calling (717) 534-3911.