CLEVELAND, Ohio – Dany Sabourin turned aside four of five Lake Erie Monsters shooters, and stopped 35 shots through 65 minutes of play to help the HERSHEY BEARS skate to a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
It took all of 42 seconds and one shot on goal to put Lake Erie ahead in the game. After the BEARS had possession on their first shift in the offensive zone, the Monsters worked the puck into the left corner. The BEARS failed to clear, and Paul Carey turned with the puck into the slot and ripped a wrist shot past the blocker of Sabourin.
After killing off a Lake Erie two-man advantage, the BEARS found the equalizer. Unable to control a bouncing puck in the neutral zone, the Monsters coughed up the puck to allow Mike Carman and Matt Pope to take off on a two-on-one rush. Carman held the puck and fired a shot under the glove of Lake Erie goaltender Calvin Pickard at 9:19.
The BEARS then earned their second power play of the night, and made it count to take a 2-1 lead. Off of a cross-zone pass from Peter LeBlanc, Casey Wellman took a shot from in close that Pickard kicked to the side. Barry Almeida was waiting untouched at the top of the crease, and put the rebound into a virtually empty net at 15:27 for his fifth goal of the season. LeBlanc’s assist was his first point with HERSHEY.
Not long after failing on their second five-on-three chance of the game, the Monsters tied the game early in the second period. Center Gary Steffes pulled a clean faceoff back to the center point, where Thomas Pock one-timed a shot past the glove of Sabourin at 2:14.
The game would remain knotted the rest of the way through regulation, largely because of Sabourin and the HERSHEY penalty kill, which was perfect on seven Monsters chances.
Lake Erie outshot HERSHEY 6-3 in a scoreless overtime.
In the shootout, Ryan Potulny struck for the BEARS in the second round, Markus Lauridsen tied it up in the third round, and Jeff Taffe put the BEARS ahead for good in the fourth. Sabourin made a pad stop on Brad Malone in the final round to preserve the win.
Sabourin’s record improves to 7-7-1, while Pickard falls to 13-10-2 with 31 saves through regulation and overtime. In addition to their perfect penalty kill, the BEARS finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
The BEARS return home on Saturday, February 9 to take on the Binghamton Senators at 7:00 PM. Chocolate-Covered February continues, and all fans will receive candy upon exit courtesy of the HERSHEY Company. Tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.