Andrew Joudrey’s goal, 4:08 into overtime capped off a 4-3 victory for the Hershey Bears over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Game 1 of the East Division Semi-Finals. Trevor Smith, Matt Martin and Andrew MacDonald tallied the goals for the Sound Tigers. Hershey now holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as Game 2 is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. from the Giant Center.
Bears’ starting goalie, Braden Holtby had a solid season between the pipes, posting the fourth best save-percentage in the league and finishing the regular season with a 25-8-2 record. However, it was the Sound Tigers putting two past the Bears’ starter in the first period to take a 2-0 lead into the dressing room at the end of the first period.
Smith opened the scoring with his first goal of the post-season, coming unassisted when he snapped a seemingly harmless shot on Holtby. The Bears’ net-minder tried to paddle the puck to the left corner but it instead took a Sound Tiger bounce and fluttered over Holtby’s head, trickling over the goal-line for the 1-0 Sound Tiger lead at the 5:40 mark of the first period.
Ten minutes later, it was Martin doubling the Sound Tigers’ lead with his first tally of the playoffs. Andrew MacDonald sprung Sean Bentivoglio with an outlet pass through the neutral zone that led Bentivoglio into the Bears’ zone along the left-wing boards. Bentivoglio tried to find a pass cross-ice to either Martin or Tyler Haskins at the far post, but had his lanes blocked by Hershey defensemen. Bentivoglio faked as if he was going to continue behind the net but instead slid the puck behind Holtby to Martin, for the easy tap in, giving the Sound Tigers the 2-0 lead.
Hershey would get on the board at the 5:33 mark of the second period when Alexandre Giroux one-timed a shot past Munroe for his first goal of the post-season. Keith Aucoin dished a pass to Giroux in the high slot that the league’s leading goal-scorer leaned into, sending it off the right post. The puck ricocheted off the back of Munroe and over the goal-line to cut the Sound Tiger lead to 2-1. Greg Amadio had the second assist on the play.
The clear-day roster returnees, regained the Sound Tiger two-goal lead with less than a second remaining in the middle frame. Dylan Reese took a pass from Jeremy Reich at the top of the circles and fired a slap-shot on Holtby, that the Bears’ goalie deflected into mid-air. MacDonald was crashing the net with time running down, saw the puck in mid-air and batted it in for his first goal of the post-season, giving the Sound Tigers the 3-1 lead.
In the third, Hershey would pull within a goal of the Sound Tigers when Francois Bouchard tipped a point shot from Patrick Wellar past Munroe for his first of the post-season, cutting the Sound Tigers’ lead to 3-2. Kyle Wilson also had an assist on the Bears’ second tally of the game coming at the 14:14 mark.
Four minutes later, it was Perreault batting the puck out of mid-air and past Munroe on what seemed like an easy high-sticking call that referee Nygel Pelletier did not see. Chris Bourque and Alexandre Giroux had the assist on the game-tying goal to send the game to overtime.
The Bears were able to complete the come-from behind victory, as Joudrey tipped a point shot from Wellar past the right pad of Munroe for his first tally of the post-season. Steve Pinizzotto had the second assist on the goal.
For the Sound Tigers, they were out-shot by Hershey, 31-24. Neither team were able to muster a goal on the man-advantage as the Sound Tigers went 0-for-6 but 8-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
Game 2 is set for Friday night at the Giant Center at 7 p.m. The Sound Tigers and Bears will travel to Bridgeport immediately following Friday’s night’s contest and face-off in Game 3 on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Sunday is Game 4 at Arena at Harbor Yard with the opening face-off set for 3 p.m. For tickets or information on upcoming home playoff games, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-4625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Andrew Joudrey – Scores the overtime game-winner
2. Andrew MacDonald – Scores a goal and an assist in his return to the Sound Tigers
3. Alexandre Giroux – Scores a goal and an assist
Honorable Mention: Patrick Wellar – Earns two assist
Slices: The Sound Tigers have a tradition of orange slices on the bus and it was started by their driver this season, Larry. Unfortunately, on this trip, Larry could not make the trek due to other responsibilities but he made sure to drop off the orange slices gummies with the team and as each player jumped off the bus, they took a slice for good luck.
Opening Rounds: This is the second straight year that Sound Tigers’ net-minder Scott Munroe has met up with the Hershey Bears in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Last season, Munroe was a member of the Philadelphia Phantoms, playing in three of the four games. Hershey would sweep the Phantoms en-route to winning their tenth Calder Cup in team history.
Returns: For the Sound Tigers, they received Andrew MacDonald, Dylan Reese and Dustin Kohn on defense from the Islanders. After playing over 20 minutes in the majority of the games he played with the Islanders alongside Mark Streit, MacDonald had the daunting task of slowing down the offensive power of Keith Aucoin. Reese was his partner on defense.
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
7 Robin Figren – 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)
52 Nathan Lawson
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
1 Braden Holtby (starter)
30 Michal Neuvirth