Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bears Beached by the Whale 2.4.12

The Hershey Bears, who were iced on the road by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night when they squandered a three-goal third period lead in a game, were harpooned by the Connecticut Whale on Saturday night on home ice, 4-1, in a game in which they never led.

The Whale, who snapped an 11-game winless streak on Friday night, struck for the first goal of the game at 16:00 of the opening frame when Tommy Grant tucked a shot inside the left post behind Hershey netminder Dany Sabourin. Sabourin had been stellar up until the time of Grant’s goal and registered seven saves, including a pair of sparkling stops on Mats Zuccarello during the Bears’ first penalty kill of the night earlier in the stanza.

But the Bears managed to tie the game before the end of the first period when Cody Eakin earned his 8th marker of the season by deflecting a point shot from Tomas Kundratek, a former member of the Whale, by goaltender Chad Johnson.

Just past the midway point of the middle frame, the Whale blew the game wide open when AHL veterans Kris Newbury (power play) and Andre Deveaux solved Sabourin within a span of 1:22 which gave the visitors a 3-1 lead entering the third period.

The Bears had a chance to cut into Connecticut’s cushion when they had 1:18 of carryover power play to start the third period; but the power play unit failed to capitalize, and Grant added his second goal of the contest with just over six minutes left in the game to give the visitors the final margin of victory.

Notes-The Bears scratched forwards D.J. King and Matt Pope and defensemen Patrick Wellar and Phil Oreskovic (all healthy).

Hershey’s Joel Rechlicz, who was put on waivers on Friday by the Washington Capitals after a two-game recall, was in the lineup after clearing waivers.

Hershey’s Mike Carman and Kevin Marshall, both obtained in separate trades earlier this week, made their Giant Center debuts wearing the Chocolate and White.

Marshall, who suffered a facial injury in the second period when he was struck by the puck while breaking up and odd-man rush, left a puddle of blood on the ice and did not return for the rest of the game.

Among the Connecticut scratches were NHL veterans Wade Redden and Sean Avery who possess 1,574 games of NHL experience combined.

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