Bears Fall in Overtime, Series Extends to Game 5
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears will face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a decisive Game 5 on Saturday night after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in Game 4 on Thursday night at Giant Center. Ryan Sproul and Jayson Megna both tallied their second goal of the series in the losing effort.
Puck persistence in the offensive zone put the Bears on the board first only 5:47 into the game. Brian Pinho took two wacks at the puck from a sharp angle, and the second attempt squeaked behind Bridgeport goaltender Christopher Gibson and sat in the blue paint. Sproul raced to the crease and banged home his second goal in as many games to put Hershey in front, 1-0. Shots after 20 minutes were 10-9 Bears.
The Sound Tigers evened the score at 1-1 at 2:18 of the second stanza. Stephen Gionta won a net front puck battle and chipped a loose biscuit behind Vitek Vanecek. Hershey was tasked with a penalty kill in the later stages of the period after Steve Whitney was boxed for a high-sticking minor at 15:01. A man down, Megna used a burst of speed to score his second shorthanded breakaway tally of the series. Chris Bourque fumbled the puck at the blue line, and Megna pounced to convert on the scoring chance. Shots after 40 were 22-16 Sound Tigers despite a 2-1 Bears lead.
Similar to the previous period, Bridgeport found the equalizer in the new frame's opening minutes. Oliver Wahlstrom redirected a Kyle Burroughs shot into the cage at the 1:56 mark. For the second time this series, sudden-death overtime was required. Bridgeport won Game 1 in sudden-death on a Kieffer Bellows tally, and Matt Lorito was the Sound Tigers hero only 1:13 into the extra frame in Game 4. Final shots on goal were 40-24 in favor of the Sound Tigers. Special teams for Hershey finished 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the kill.
The decisive Game 5 between the Bears and Sound Tigers in the Atlantic Division Semifinals is set for Saturday, Apr. 27 at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch will have the call on the Bears Radio Network.
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