The Hershey Bears fell to the Connecticut Whale 4-1 at a sold out Giant Center Saturday night. Dany Sabourin was in net for Hershey and Chad Johnson for Connecticut. Sean Avery of Connecticut was a scratch, to no surprise.
The Bears were unable to muster many scoring chances, even though they heavily out-shot the Connecticut Whale by an almost 2:1 ratio (40-21). Sabourin had a sub-par outing in net, allowing a few goals he should have stopped. Chad Johnson for Connecticut was solid in goal, stopping 39 of the 40 shots fired his way.
The Bears started the first period off shorthanded on a boarding penalty to Joel Rechlicz at 3:03. Connecticut had a few chances with the man advantage, but their best opportunity came after the penalty to Rechlicz. Connecticut had the puck to the left of Sabourin after a shot the net was wide open, but somehow Sabourin recovered to make the stop. After some cycling in the offensive zone by the Bears, Connecticut took the puck down the left wing and Tommy Grant fired a shot past Sabourin. A shot Sabourin would like to have back and is a must save. The Bears answered back a little over a minute later at 17:19 of the first period on a deflection in front of the net by Cody Eakin tying the game at 1-1, his eighth goal of the season. The shot came from a point shot by Tomas Kundratek. The secondary assist was credited to Boyd Kane. The Bears held the majority of scoring chances in the period, out shooting Connecticut 13-10.
The first ten minutes in the second period had no sustained attack on the fore check by either team. At 11:17 Zach Miskovic was guilty of interference giving Connecticut their second man advantage of the contest. Connecticut quickly converted only three seconds into the power play with Kris Newbury’s 17th goal of the year assisted by Mats Zuccarello and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. Connecticut quickly converted again at 13:32 on Andre Deveaux’s 13th goal of the year assisted by center Casey Wellman and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. Hershey was unable to capitalize on of their first power play at 15:49. Hershey had 1:18 of power play time carried into the third period after a Jeff Woywitka slashing penalty.
Hershey was unable to generate many chances during the start of third period, but were able to get on the power play twice in the first ten minutes, but were unsuccessful. Near the end of the third period at 13:50 on a wrist shot by Tommy Grant of a faceoff win by Kelsey Tessier. The Bears pulled their goalie in the last minute, but the game was already well in hand as Connecticut defeated the Bears 4-1.
In the post game interview by Coach Mark French he was unhappy with his team’s power play efforts not being able to generate many chances. Keith Aucoin was out of the lineup after a call up to the Washington Capitals, but he is not using that as an excuse. Hershey was 0-5 with the man advantage and Connecticut capitalized on one of their four power play opportunities. French’s post game press conference lasted a whole two questions as he was clearly frustrated with his team’s performance tonight.