A night after taking a beating from the Pens, the Bears looked to turn things around. And the looked to do it with Dany Sabourin in the net. Sabourin hasn’t played a game in over a week since he’s been riding the pine in Washington with Michal Neuvirth hurt. Sabourin’s first couple touches looked like he had a little rust. After that there was no doubt that he was fully in the game.
In the first half of the opening period, the Bears had some trouble making it cleanly through the neutral zone. This was causing poor entries into the offensive zone and little time spent there. It looked a little like it was going to be another night like last night. As the period wore on, things started to get better. The crunch still had the shot advantage, however Dmitry Orlov was the one that opened up the scoring. From that point forward the momentum started to turn in the Bears favor. They increased the pressure in the Crunch zone and with 3.1 seconds left to go in the first period Jacob Micflikier upped the lead to 2-0.
The second period continued right were the first period ended. The continued to out work the Crunch and Sabourin was a wall in the goal. He looked especially strong all night, but when the Bears were killing yet another penalty (more on that later) in the middle of the period, he stepped up. He robbed more than one Crunch player of a goal. Many people will tell you that on a penalty kill your goalie has to be your best penalty killer. Sabourin was up to that task tonight. Chris Bourque, Keith Aucoin and Christian Hanson all added goals in the second frame to bring the score to 5-0 by the end of the period.
Syracuse started the third period by replacing Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers in net with Iiro Tarkki. It seemed like Referee David Banfield was going to finally let the players decide the game, but that ended at 6:40 into the period with matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Boyd Kane and Syracuse’s Mathieu Carle. Offense picked up on both sides in the final stanza with 19 shots on goal for Syracuse an 16 for Hershey. What the stats don’t show is that the Bears had more quality scoring chances. Goals by Mattias Sjogren and Julien Brouillette rounded out the scoring for the Bears bringing the damage to 7-0.
- This was Sabourin’s first start in over a week. He does not have a loss yet this year and recorded the season’s first shutout.
- David Banfield called 21 penalties during the night resulting in 13 combined power plays. Play was stopped for penalties on 15 occasions. That’s a stoppage on average every 4 minutes if you’re counting.
- Mattias Sjogren’s goal in the third period was his first professional goal in North America.
- The Bears were shorthanded 7 times and were perfect on the PK tonight.
Lines and Pairings:
Kane – Eakin – Micflikier
Bourque – Aucoin – Ford
Sjogren – Hanson – Carroll
Bouchard – Lacroix – Mitchell
Miskovic – Wellar
Brouillette – Orlov
Mcneill – Collins
Three stars of the game:
1. Dany Sabourin (HER)
2. Jacob Micflikier (HER)
3. Julien Brouliette (HER)
My stars of the game:
1. Dany Sabourin – can’t disagree here with 36 saves and a shutout.
2. All of the Bears PK team for going 100%.
3. Andrew Carroll – He had one assist and was +1, but more importantly the kid’s got heart.
Christian Hanson, with very famous father in attendance tonight, gave the Bears a 5-0 lead