BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Tomas Kundratek scored twice, including the overtime winner, and Dany Sabourin made 35 saves to help the HERSHEY BEARS to their seventh consecutive win on the road, a 4-3 decision over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena. The game was also team captain Boyd Kane’s 1,000th as a professional.
The Sound Tigers started the scoring at 3:39 of the first period, sparked by a scrap between defenseman Brett Gallant and BEARS forward Matt Clackson. Nino Niederreiter led a two-on-one rush by carrying down the left side and toward the goal line. He sent a perfect pass over a defenseman’s stick and onto the tape of Johan Sundstrom for a one-timer that got by Sabourin.
The BEARS tied the game at 13:20, crashing the goal crease of Kevin Poulin. Zach Hamill backhanded a pass toward the top of Poulin’s crease, where Clackson and Ryan Stoa were battling. Poulin sprawled to deny a chance, but Stoa got enough of the puck to slide it under the netminder and into the net.
Just 45 seconds later, Kundratek would take a faceoff win from Ryan Potulny and fire a hard slap shot that eluded Poulin inside the left goal post, giving the BEARS a 2-1 lead.
But before the period expired, the Sound Tigers evened the game. Casey Cizikas would flip the puck from the left corner toward a collection of bodies at Sabourin’s net. The puck would bounce toward the open right side with Sabourin down, and Colin McDonald tipped it home at 17:03 for the equalizer.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period.
After surviving a four-minute power play for Bridgeport that was partially wiped out by a penalty assessed to Niederreiter, the BEARS would still find themselves back down by one goal. Sabourin denied McDonald on a partial breakaway, but the loose puck sat in the crease just long enough for Brandon DeFazio to stuff it home at 7:49.
Once again, the BEARS needed less than a minute to tie the game back up at 3-3. Jeff Taffe flipped a pass forward from neutral ice, and Evan Barlow used his speed to catch up to it, draw Poulin down and place a backhander under the crossbar for his second of the season at 8:21.
Bridgeport dictated the pace through the first half of overtime, but in the final half-minute, Kundratek’s heroics sent the BEARS to victory. The defenseman chipped a puck out of the BEARS’ defensive zone and up the right boards. Kundratek out-raced Sound Tigers defenseman Jon Landry, poked the puck passed him and completed his breakaway by tucking a backhander inside the left post at 4:34.
Sabourin earned the win to improve to 5-4-0. Poulin fell to 10-7-2, making 24 saves on 28 shots. The BEARS did not receive a power play in the game, and killed off all five Sound Tigers power play chances.
The BEARS return home on Saturday, January 12 to host the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive an ice scraper courtesy of UGI. Tickets for this game and all home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.
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