Friday evening, Braden Holtby earned his third consecutive start, as the Hershey Bears looked to continue their winning ways against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Four Hershey third period goals proved to be the decisive factor, as the Bears silenced the Sound Tigers, 5-2.
Throughout an event-less opening period, the Bears out shot the Sound Tigers 11-4. All four offensive lines had good looks on net, but couldn’t find pay-dirt in the opening 20.
Into the second period with the game still awaiting its first goal, Bridgeport would score first in a rather soft fashion. Johan Sundstrom fluttered a soft shot on Holtby, that he failed to squeeze with his trapper. Knocking the puck out to the low slot, Sundstrom crashing the net converted on the rebound to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Time of the game’s first tally came at the 25:50 mark of the game. The Bears were held scoreless until the final minute of the stanza, when the puck finally took a Hershey bounce. With the puck bouncing on its edge, Jon DiSalvatore found himself with the puck suddenly on his stick, right on the doorstep of the net. He fed Zach Hamill on the backdoor who converted for his seventh goal of the season to tie the game a 1-1.
During the final period, Tomas Kundratek from the point blasted a shot that gave the Bears a 2-1 lead at the 6:02 mark. The lead was short live, to say the very least, as only 48 seconds later, Jordan Hill beat a screened Braden Holtby with a wrist shot. In just a matter of less than a minute, a 1-1 tie quickly became 2-2.
But with 5:38 left in the third, Jeff Taffe entered the zone on an odd-man rush and blasted a shot past Anders Nilsson to send Giant Center into a frenzy. Taffe’s tally turned out to be the game-winner, as the Bears went on to win their third straight contest.
Patrick McNeill added a power play goal with 3:41 remaining to give Hershey a late two goal cushion, and DiSalvatore added the empty net goal to seal the deal against Bridgeport, 5-2.