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Bears Open Road Trip with 3-2 OT Loss to Rocket

January 20, 2023

Mike Sgarbossa recorded a goal and an assist, but a 2-0 lead was not enough as the Hershey Bears (25-8-4-1) began a four-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Laval Rocket (16-18-4-1) on Friday night at Place Bell.


The Bears were forced to play defensively for the first several minutes of the opening frame following a double-minor penalty to Sgarbossa, as Hershey didn’t log its first shot on goal until a Connor McMichael breakaway attempt that was foiled by Kevin Poulin, but Sgarbossa made up for the earlier infraction in the final three minutes of the period.

With Hershey on a 5-on-3 power play, Sgarbossa dished the puck to Ethen Frank, who sent a pass to Joe Snively at the right circle. Snively blasted a one-timer that beat Poulin for his third of the season at 17:18 to put the Bears up 1-0.

With seconds remaining in the stanza, Sgarbossa pounced on a Laval turnover committed in neutral territory and skated into the Laval zone. Sgarbossa managed to release a low wrist shot that evaded the blocker of Poulin at for an unassisted goal at 19:54 to send Hershey into the locker room up by a pair of goals.

The Rocket took advantage of an extended power play in the second period with a pair of goals, and in each instance it was Joel Teasdale who found the net for Laval. The forward got his first goal of the evening when he got a piece of Anthony Richard’s one-timer and deflected it behind Fucale at 12:43 with three seconds left in a 5-on-3 Rocket power play. With the Bears still on the penalty kill, Teasdale again deflected a Richard shot at 13:21 to level the score at 2-2. Ultimately, the Rocket out-shot the Bears 22-6 in the second period, representing a new season-high for Hershey for shots allowed in a single period.

The Bears were limited to only three shots on goal in the third period, but the score remained tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play. In the sudden-death frame, a penalty to Mike Vecchione for tripping at 3:18 put Laval back on the man advantage, and Peter Abbandonato scored at 3:53 on a shot from the center point to win it for the Rocket.

Shots finished 41-27 in favor of Laval. Fucale went 38-for-41 for Hershey to establish a new season-high for himself; Poulin was 25-for-27 for the Rocket. The Bears were 1-for-2 on the power play; Laval went 3-for-7 on the power play.

Hershey continues the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, when the Chocolate and White take on the Belleville Senators on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:05 p.m. at CAA Arena. The Bears return home to GIANT Center for their annual GIANT Teddy Bear Toss when they host the Bridgeport Islanders on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. All fans are encouraged to bring new, stuffed teddy bears and items to the game to toss onto the ice as the Bears score their first goal. All items collected will be donated to local charities. Purchase tickets for the game by CLICKING HERE.

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