GRUBAUER STELLAR AS BEARS HANDLE SHARKS
March 18, 2015WORCESTER, Mass. – Philipp Grubauer turned in an outstanding 44-save performance to snap a personal four-game winless skid, and allowed the Hershey Bears to skate past the Worcester Sharks by a 3-2 count on Wednesday night at the DCU Center.
The Sharks would jump out to a 7-0 advantage in shots on goal, but it would the Bears to score the first goal of the game. Jon Landry blocked a shot inside the Hershey zone, and the puck was tipped along to Tim Kennedy who took off on a two-on-one rush. Carrying down the left wing, Kennedy held the puck and fired a snap shot high over the blocker of Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick at 6:31.
The Bears held their lead at the second intermission as well, largely due to the visitors killing off a two-man disadvantage that lasted for 57 seconds late in the frame.
Just 17 seconds into the third, however, Sharks captain Bryan Lerg got himself open in the low slot. Evan Trupp fed him a pass from the left corner, and Lerg hurried a high backhand shot over Grubauer’s glove for the equalizer.
The Bears found themselves down two men once more shortly after Worcester tied the game. But the Bears would hold their ground, backed by a sliding split-save by Grubauer on Willie Coetzee.
Cameron Schilling would put Hershey back in front at 9:22. Trailing the play, he took a drop pass from Casey Wellman and unloaded a slap shot that was blocked on its way to the net. Schilling followed up his own rebound and drove it home for his third goal of the season.
Jim O’Brien, returning to the lineup after a seven-game injury absence, provided an empty-net tally with 1:06 left on the clock. It would be necessary insurance, as Lerg scored again with 16 seconds remaining to cut the Bears’ lead to 3-2. Hershey would hold on from there, winning their 15th game on the road.
Grubauer improved to 24-14-4 on the season, while Grosenick turned aside 20 of 22 shots but fell to 18-10-3.
The Bears improved to 38-18-5-2 (83 points) and opened up a five-point advantage in the East Division with 13 games remaining.
The Bears continue their six-game road swing with a return to Maine for a pair of games against the Portland Pirates on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. Fans may listen to both games beginning at 6:20 PM on the Bears Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-AM 1460, WOYK-AM 1350 and via iHeart Radio (1460 AM).
Hershey returns home to host the Manchester Monarchs on Friday, March 27 at 7:00 PM. All fans in attendance will receive a complimentary ticket to the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on June 6 courtesy of Pocono Raceway. Individual tickets for this and all remaining home games are available at the GIANT Center box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling 717-508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears scratched C Joel Broda, LW Dane Byers, LW Philippe Cornet, D Tomas Kundratek, LW Aaron Volpatti and D Patrick Wey…The Sharks scratched D Konrad Abeltshauser, LW Vincent Arseneau, LW Jimmy Bonneau, D Dylan DeMelo, RW Petter Emanuelsson and RW Jeremy Langlois… The Bears finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill…C Tim Kennedy extended his point streak to four games (1-3-4) with his first-period goal…The Bears scored their 40th first-goal of the season, and are 30-7-3-0 when scoring first.
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