Dustin Kohn tallied two goals, but it was Hershey Bears’ regular season leading goal-scorer Alexandre Giroux matching the effort and leading the Bears to a 3-2 victory over the Sound Tigers. With the loss, the Sound Tigers trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven East Division Semi-Final.
With the physical play dominating the majority of the first period, it was the Sound Tigers taking the 1-0 lead at the 16:14 mark of the opening frame. Tomas Marcinko played the puck deep into the Bears’ zone and was met by teammate Trevor Smith behind the goal-line, as the two Sound Tiger forwards out-raced the Hershey defensemen to the puck. Marcinko laid a body on Mathieu Perrault, knocking him off the puck and freeing Smith to skate off of the left post and find Kohn darting in from the left point. Kohn one-timed the first attempt that Bears’ starting goalie Michal Neuvirth turned aside but Kohn continued to drive to the net, collected his rebound and backhanded it past Neuvirth’s left pad to give the Sound Tigers the 1-0 lead.
After being stymied for the majority of the first two periods, Hershey finally broke through on Sound Tigers’ starting goalie, Nathan Lawson with four minutes remaining in the middle frame. Keith Aucoin dumped the puck in behind Lawson where his line-mate, Giroux raced in to create a turnover. Giroux wound up skating away with the puck from the right corner and snapped a shot past the shoulder of Lawson to tie the score at 1-1.
With less than a minute remaining in the second period, it was Kohn cashing in on a fortunate bounce for his second goal of the game. The Sound Tigers were on the power-play as Steve Pinizzotto took a roughing penalty. Kohn took a pass from Mark Flood and crept in from the right-wing half-wall. The Sound Tiger defenseman snapped a shot on goal that redirected off of Hershey defenseman, Greg Amadio and through the legs of Neuvirth to give the Sound Tigers the 2-1 lead. Greg Mauldin had the second assist on the series’ first goal coming on the man-advantage.
Giroux would even the score at two just over a minute into the third period. Kyle Wilson chipped a shot on net that Lawson poked away but the puck fluttered to the left post and Giroux slammed it past the Sound Tiger net-minder. Andrew Gordon had the second assist on the play.
Six minutes later, the Bears took the lead as Perreault snapped his second of the post-season over the glove of Scott Munroe who replaced Lawson halfway through the third period. Gordon and Bryan Helmer had the assists on the eventual game-winning tally coming at 7:06 of the final period.
The Sound Tigers went 1-for-6 on the power-play and 5-for-6 on the penalty-kill. Lawson played the majority of the contest, stopping 30 of 32 shots. Munroe was pegged with the loss, allowing the game-winning goal in the third period but stopping eight of nine shots. Neuvirth earned the win, turning aside 23 of the 25 shots he faced.
The series will now shift to Bridgeport for Game 3, scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. For tickets or information on any upcoming Sound Tiger playoff games, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-4625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Alexandre Giroux – Scores two goals
2. Dustin Kohn – Tallies his first and second goal of the post-season
3. Nathan Lawson – Stops 30 shots in the loss
Honorable Mention: Andrew Gordon – Tallies two assists
Goalie Swaps: For the Sound Tigers, Nathan Lawson replaced Scott Munroe in goal tonight after Munroe started Game 1. For most of the season, the Sound Tigers had flip-flopped the two net-minders so head coach Jack Capuano’s decision to change them tonight came as no surprise. In goal for the Bears was Michal Neuvirth who led Hershey to a Calder Cup Championship last season.
Interesting Matchup: Sound Tiger center-man Tyler Haskins has the daunting task of matching up against Keith Aucoin to try and shut-down the league MVP. In Game 1, Haskins finished with an even plus/minus rating, the same as Aucoin.
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
52 Nathan Lawson (starter)
33 Scott Munroe
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