Bears bite Rats in OT
HERSHEY, PA-Kyle Wilson scored at 10:41 of overtime to lift the Hershey Bears to a 4-3 victory over the Albany River Rats in Game One of the East Division finals on Saturday night at the Giant Center.
2009-10 AHL First Team All-Star Jerome Samson scored twice and goaltender Justin Peters made 44 saves for the River Rats, which held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 during the game. Andrew Gordon scored two goals and added an assist for the Bears, who took a 1-0 lead in the second round, best-of-seven series.
Samson's second goal of the game gave Albany a 3-2 lead at 7:13 of the third period, when he released a sneaky 1-on-1 wrist shot through defenseman Andrew Joudrey's skates and behind Bears goalie Michal Neuvirth. Former River Rat Keith Aucoin drew even for Hershey with 6:44 remaining in regulation on a close-range rebound from Gordon and Alexandre Giroux.
Peters came up big during the final minutes of the third period and the start of overtime, as Albany killed three consecutive penalties, including 1:14 of 5-on-4 action to start the sudden death session. The Bears out-shot the River Rats 48-28 in the game and 11-3 in overtime. Wilson's deciding goal came on a back-door rebound from Joudrey and Boyd Kane.
Samson's first goal gave Albany its first lead of the game at 6:40 of the second period on the power play. Hershey responded with a power play tally of their own at 15:47 of the middle frame on a tic-tac-toe play from Chris Bourque to Alexandre Giroux to Alex Gordon, knotting the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
The Bears drew first blood just 4:00 into the game, when Aucoin fed a pass from behind the net to Gordon in the slot for a one-timer past Peters. Drayson Bowman leveled the score for Albany at 8:25 of the opening period with his first goal of the playoffs, set-up by a Zac Dalpe faceoff win.
Albany went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Hershey went 1-for-7 with the man-advantage. Neuvirth stopped 25-of-28 shots faced in the game.
The clubs remain in Hershey for Game Two of the East Division finals on Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. River Rats 2010 Calder Cup playoff packages are now on sale at the River Rats executive offices at the Times Union Center, by calling (518) 487-2244 or by logging onto www.albanyriverrats.com.
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