Monsters Skate Past Bears, 5-2
(Cleveland, OH) - Mike Sgarbossa scored his 100th career American Hockey League goal, but the Bears dropped a 5-2 decision to the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The regulation defeat marked only Hershey's third in their previous 29 games (21-3-3-2).
Cleveland opened the scoring at 11:21 on a bullet from the left point from Tommy Cross. After an offensive zone face-off win in front of Ilya Samsonov, Alexandre Texier dropped a pass for Cross, who unleashed a laser low to the ice, off the post and in. Steve Whitney responded for the Bears at 12:18 after spinning a backhander past Monsters goaltender Brad Thiessen. Shane Gersich forced a turnover behind the net and recorded the lone assist on the goal. Both teams were even at 1-1 after 20 minutes, and Hershey held a 15-12 shot advantage.
Only 13 seconds after the puck dropped in the second frame, Sgarbossa capitalized on a defensive zone turnover by Cleveland. Riley Barber won the puck in a board battle beneath the goal line and bounced a centering feed for Sgarbossa. After the puck hit Sgarbossa's skate, Thiessen kicked it into his own net to provide the Bears a 2-1 advantage. The Monsters responded quickly, only 34 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2 at the :47 mark. On the transition, Texier buried a juicy rebound following a shot from Dillon Simpson, five-hole on Samsonov.
Later in the period, the Monsters grabbed a 3-2 advantage at the 14:05 mark. Kevin Stenlund beat Samsonov five-hole once more, low to the ice on an offensive rush generated from a neutral zone turnover. The Monsters carried their one-goal advantage to the break, and also led in shots, 29-25.
Cleveland tallied twice more in the third period to round out the 5-2 final. Zac Dalpe scored on the power play for his 25th goal of the season at the 6:43 mark. After Colby Williams was whistled for high-sticking, Dalpe sneaked into the low-slot and buried a sub-goal line pass from Dan DeSalvo. Mark Letestu hit the empty net at 18:20 to finish the scoring. Final shots were 38-35 Cleveland.
The Hershey Bears return to action tomorrow and rematch the Cleveland Monsters at 3 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch will have the call on the Bears Radio Network.
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