With the Giant Center ice troubling the Hershey Bears Hockey Club, they looked for their tenth road win of the campaign in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Braden Holtby was named a healthy scratch, as Dany Sabourin backstopped the Bears to an exciting 4-3 overtime win over the Sound Tigers. Tomas Kundratek tallied two goals, including the overtime game winner to help tame the Tigers.
The Sound Tigers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead following a Bears’ defensive break down. At the 3:39 mark, Johan Sundstrom capitalized on a 2-on-1 rush and greeted Sabourin with an early goal against.
With little Hershey offense in the first half of the period, the Bears suddenly turned the tide with two goals only 45 seconds apart. Ryan Stoa and Matt Clackson crashed the goal and jammed the puck into the net with 6:40 to go in the frame. Stoa received credit for the goal in only his third game back from injury, as Clackson picked up his second point of the season.
In the opening frame, Clackson also completed two-thirds of the beloved “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick” with a fight only 2:57 into the contest.
Soon following Stoa’s tally, the Bears made the Tigers pay for an icing call. Right off an offensive zone face off, Ryan Potulny won the draw clean and dropped the puck off to Tomas Kundratek. With the puck on its edge, Kundratek fired a bomb into the cage to give Hershey a sudden 2-1 lead.
However at the 17:03 mark of the stanza, Bridgeport found the equalizer. Colin McDonald received credit for a tip in with a host of bodies in front of a screened Sabourin. Both teams were deadlocked at two goals aside following only 20 minutes. No scoring would follow in the middle period, leading to a 2-2 tie at second intermission.
Into the third period, the goal scoring parade would briefly continue. After a great leg pad save by Sabourin that robbed McDonald on a breakaway, Brandon DeFazio pushed a loose puck into the net to give his team their second lead of the night, 3-2.
But unlike the last two home games at Giant Center, the Bears came back from a third period deficit to tie the game. Evan Barlow answered the bell and lifted a perfect backhander into the net only 32 seconds later to knot the game at 3-3.
Barlow’s tying goal sent the game to a sudden death overtime period, where Kundratek struck again for Hershey. In the final minute of the overtime stanza, Kundratek carried the puck down ice with a sudden burst of speed. He stormed the net and scored his second of the night, 11th of the season to help Hershey back over the .500 mark in the standings.
Dany Sabourin in his fifth win of the season made 35 saves and recorded third star honors.