Bears Grab Three Points In Exciting Weekend
The HERSHEY BEARS Hockey Club picked up another three of a possible four points in their home games this weekend. On Saturday, Jon DiSalvatore and Jeff Taffe combined for five points, Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves, the penalty kill continued its perfection and the BEARS beat the league's leader in save percentage four times in a 4-3 victory over the Binghamton Senators. Boyd Kane, Cameron Schilling and Taffe all scored on Robin Lehner to give the BEARS leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before DiSalvatore's power play goal gave his team needed insurance. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Derek Grant and Brett Lebda all struck for the visitors.
On Sunday, the Norfolk Admirals appeared to be in cruise control with a 3-0 third-period lead, built on goals by Patrick Maroon, Peter Holland and Dan Sexton. After killing off their only penalties of the game - a two-man disadvantage, part of which carried into the third - the BEARS roared back on a goal by Barry Almeida and two goals from Ryan Potulny to send the game to overtime. After dominating the extra session, the BEARS would ultimately fall in the shootout and drop a 4-3 decision. Peter LeBlanc netted the lone shootout tally for the BEARS, while Maroon, Josh Brittain and Luca Caputi all found the back of the net. Dany Sabourin took the loss, which was his fifth consecutive start that required extra time.
The BEARS will now play six of their next seven games on the road, beginning with a trip to Canada this weekend. The BEARS visit the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies on Friday and Saturday, and conclude the weekend with a Sunday afternoon battle against the Rochester Americans.
BEARS NEWS AND NOTES
O.T. COMPENSATION?: Sunday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Norfolk Admirals was goaltender Dany Sabourin's fifth consecutive start that went beyond regulation. Sabourin's last start that finished in 60 minutes was on January 11 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Sabourin started the BEARS' 5-0 victory over Connecticut on January 13 but only played one period.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE: C Ryan Potulny broke a 13-game drought without a goal in a big way on Sunday, by scoring two third-period goals - including the tying goal with 34.4 seconds left in regulation.
WELL-COME TO HERSHEY: C Casey Wellman helped set up both of Ryan Potulny's goals in Sunday's comeback against Norfolk. Wellman has four assists in his last four games after going scoreless in his BEARS debut on February 2.
ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP: After going scoreless in four straight games, C Jeff Taffe scored one goal and added three assists to help the BEARS this weekend. Taffe leads the AHL with 32 assists and is tied for ninth in the overall scoring race.
ALMEIDA'S ON A ROLL: Not counting his being absent from the lineup on February 3, rookie LW Barry Almeida has picked up points in four consecutive games (3-1-4). Almeida leads BEARS rookies in scoring (6-6-12).
PK MORE THAN OK: The BEARS have allowed just one power play goal in February. In five games, the penalty kill is 19-for-20 (95.0%), and after starting the year ranked 27th, the BEARS now rank ninth overall (85.1%).
KINGS OF TIGHT GAMES: Now with six consecutive one-goal games played, the BEARS have the second-highest total (28) of one-goal games in the AHL. The team has a record of 12-10-3-3 in such games. Only the Houston Aeros (29) have played more.
GOOD STARTS: The BEARS have allowed the second-fewest goals in first periods this season (30).
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American Hockey League Stories from February 11, 2013
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