Bears Drop 2OT Heartbreaker in Game 1 in Bridgeport
April 19, 2019Ilya Samsonov made 49 stops in goal, but the Hershey Bears dropped a 3-2 decision to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in double overtime on Friday night at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport leads the best-of-five series, 1-0.
Samsonov made 15 stops in a heavy first period to keep the game scoreless going into first intermission. Next period, Chris McCarthy scored the first goal of the series to provide the Chocolate and White a 1-0 lead at the 8:16 mark. Steve Whitney fore checked hard in the offensive zone and won the puck behind the net. Fresh off the bench, McCarthy received a crisp pass from Whitney behind the net, and scored on Bridgeport goaltender Christopher Gibson.
At 10:56, the Bears were tasked with a lengthy penalty kill after Mike Sgarbossa was whistled for a double-minor high-stick infraction. The Bears were up to the task shorthanded, and Jayson Megna used a burst of speed through the neutral zone, won a race to a loose puck, and scored on a breakaway at the 13:02 mark. Still on the man-advantage, Bridgeport struck at 14:21 in the low-slot on Samsonov to cut their deficit in half. Kieffer Bellows chipped home a loose puck sitting at the net front for the Sound Tigers first goal of the post season. Hershey carried a 2-1 lead into the third period despite being out shot, 27-14.
The Bears fell into late game penalty trouble, and the Sound Tigers took advantage. Tyler Lewington was called for tripping at 16:46, and Megna was whistled for throwing equipment at 17:28. Steve Bernier tied the score on the 5-on-3 power play at 17:56 after poking a loose puck into the net after an initial shot from Sebastian Aho.
One overtime period was not enough to decide a winner, and the game progressed into double overtime. Sgarbossa was penalized for tripping in the offensive zone at 13:00 in the sudden-death, and Bellows scored the overtime winner 36 seconds later to complete the 3-2 final. Shots on goal finalized at 52-31 Bridgeport.
Both teams rematch in Game 2 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals tomorrow, Apr. 20 at 7 p.m. in Bridgeport. Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch will have the call on the Bears Radio Network.
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