BEARS 7, SOUND TIGERS 2
Through the first 20 minutes of play, the Sound Tigers and Bears battled to find the first goal of the game. The Sound Tigers had the best opportunity to break the scoreless tie six minutes into the period when a Sound Tiger point shot from Mark Flood deflected off the shoulder of Hershey goalie Michal Neuvirth and fluttered through the crease. Jesse Joensuu had the best opportunity to slam home the rebound but could not get a handle on the rolling puck.
The Sound Tigers had held the Bears’ offense in check through the first seven periods of the series but in the middle frame of Saturday’s contest, the Bears’ offense poured it on with six tallies. Within a minute span, Gordon would open the scoring for the first time in the series for Hershey and then double the Bears’ lead to 2-0.
Chris Bourque started the play for Hershey, intercepting a breakout pass from the Sound Tiger zone at the blue-line and lead a 3-on-2 rush back the other way. Gordon read the play off the bench, as the Bears were in the midst of a line change, and streaked in towards the back post. Bourque led Mathieu Perrault into the zone and the controversial goal scorer from Game 1 sent a feed to the back post where Gordon buried his first of the series for the 1-0 Hershey lead.
Only 25 seconds later, Gordon had his second of the contest, finishing a tic-tac-toe play that began with Keith Aucoin feeding Alexandre Giroux down the left wing. In stride, Giroux sent a pass to Gordon at the right post for the easy tap in goal, his second of the game and series.
The league’s leading goal-scorer made it 3-0, converting on a great individual effort, stick-handling through two defensemen and sliding a backhand shot under Sound Tigers’ starting goalie Scott Munroe. The goal was Giroux’s fourth of the playoffs and came at the 10:34 mark of the period.
A minute later, it was Gordon completing his hat-trick, when Aucoin banked a centering attempt off his right skate and past Munroe for the 5-0 lead. Giroux also has an assist on Gordon’s third tally of the post-season coming on the power-play.
Steve Pinizzotto was next to join the scoring party, one-timing a Perrault feed from behind the net over the glove of Munroe to give the Bears a 5-0 lead and chase Munroe from the game. Giroux would close out the scoring in the second period with his second of the game and fifth of the series, blasting a one-time shot past Mikko Koskinen. Bourque and Perrault had the assists on the goal at 18:12 of the middle frame.
Mauldin would erase Neuvirth’s hopes of earning his first shut-out of the post-season at the 9:11 mark of the third period. Mauldin made a quick spin move in the right corner around a Hershey defenseman and backhanded a shot past Neuvirth’s left shoulder before the Bears’ net-minder could squeeze his post. Dustin Kohn and Jesse Joensuu had the assists on Mauldin’s first goal of the playoffs.
The two teams would trade tallies at the end of regulation time, Kyle Wilson, his first of the playoffs and for the Bears and Reich for the Sound Tigers to finish the scoring at 7-2 in favor of Hershey.
Although Hershey provided the heavy offensive onslaught, the Sound Tigers out-shot the Bears 34 to 24. The Bears were 3-for-4 on the man-advantage while the Sound Tigers could not muster any power-play tallies, going 0-for-4.
Sunday, the Sound Tigers and Bears will meet in Game 4 of the East Division Semi-Finals at 3 p.m. For tickets or information on any of the upcoming home game this series, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-4625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Andrew Gordon – Scores a hat-trick in the second period
2. Alexandre Giroux – Leads all Bears with four points doubling his series output coming into Game 3
3. Mathieu Perrault – Records three assists
Honorable Mention: Keith Aucoin – Quietly gets three assists
Special Teams: The Sound Tigers and Bears entered Saturday night’s contest with nearly identical power-play and penalty-kill numbers. The Sound Tigers are 1-for-12 on power-play and Hershey is 1-for-14. For the Sound Tigers they scored their lone power-play goal on a tally from Dustin Kohn in Game 2 and Hershey scored their only goal on the man-advantage when Mathieu Perrault buried the game-winner in the third period. Tonight was a different story however as the Bears went 3-for-4 with the man-advantage.
Born in Bridgeport: Three former Sound Tigers, Blake Comeau, Bruno Gervais and Frans Nielsen made the trip to Bridgeport tonight to support their former team and many of their teammates from the season. All three players received a round of applause from the crowd, happy to see their former Sound Tigers in the building.
6 Jesse Joensuu – 20 Greg Mauldin – 17 Jeremy Reich
23 Trevor Smith – 25 Mike Radja – 19 Rhett Rakhshani
14 Sean Bentivoglio – 10 Tyler Haskins – 27 Matt Martin
3 Michael Davies – 18 Micheal Haley – 16 Tomas Marcinko
2 Andrew MacDonald – 15 Dylan Reese
5 Dustin Kohn – 12 Mark Flood
4 Mark Wotton – 26 Jon Gleed
33 Scott Munroe (starter)
1 Mikko Koskinen
12 Alexandre Giroux – 11 Keith Aucoin – 10 Andrew Gordon
17 Chris Bourque – 24 Mathieu Perreault – 21 Jay Beagle
22 Francois Bouchard – 18 Kyle Wilson – 26 Ashton Rome
28 Boyd Kane – 23 Andrew Joudrey – 13 Steve Pinizzotto
7 Karl Alzner – 6 Sean Collins
33 Patrick Wellar – 2 Patrick McNeill
32 Greg Amadio – 20 Bryan Helmer
30 Michal Neuvirth (starter)
1 Braden Holtby