Redemption. It is one of the sweetest feelings in life from both a personal perspective and a team perspective. After a disappointing Super Bowl Sunday loss to their I-81 Rivals, the Hershey Bears redeemed themselves with a road 3-2 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters.
Entering Tuesday’s inter conference match up in Cleveland, Coaches Mark French and Troy Mann replaced the offensive line of Casey Wellman, Ryan Potulny and Peter LeBlanc. The line combination made its season debut two games prior against the Manchester Monarchs. Following an unsuccessful Sunday matinee with different lines, both coaches returned what proved to be a success its first time around.
Wellman and LeBlanc were once again knocking on the door for their first goal as a Bear, but were denied. Later in the game, both men settled for an assist on Barry Almeida’s goal.
Although the game’s outcome was a victory for the Chocolate and White, the Monsters broke the ice with the games first goal on their very first shot against Dany Sabourin.
42 seconds into the contest, Paul Carey tallied his ninth goal of the season. It was Lake Erie’s lone mark of the period, despite a large number of power play chances including a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage. The Bears’ penalty kill proved to be a huge factor, shutting down the Monsters’ power play unit seven out of seven times.
Only 41 ticks shy of the halfway mark in the opening frame, Mike Carman scored against his former team to knot the game at 1-1. On the power play with 4:33 left in the period, Barry Almeida scored to give Hershey their first lead of the night.
The lead was short live, however, as only 2:14 into the second period, Lake Erie tallied the final goal of regulation for either side. Thomas Pock sniped a shot past “Sabou” to once again tie the game.
The Hershey Bears do not get paid for overtime, but if they did, the cost of your gamely hot dog at Giant Center might be a bit more expensive. Hershey went to overtime for the seventh time in their last twelve games. Despite being out shot 6-3 in the extra five minute period, both teams headed to a shootout.
The Bears upgraded their shootout record to 4-2 on the season with a clean, five round win over the Lake Erie Monsters, 2-1. Both Ryan Potulny and Jeff Taffe capitalized in the skills competition to cap a 3-2 win in Ohio.
Getting back on to the topic of redemption, Dany Sabourin stopped four on five shots in the shootout to help secure the victory. The last time Dany faced a shootout was on January 26 in Binghamton. The B-Sens smoked Sabourin by scoring on all three attempts against him. It was a great bounce back shootout win for Sabourin very shortly after a struggle in Bingo.
Boyd Kane is a player who will have to wait another night for his opportunity at personal redemption. A game after he took a terrible unsportsmanlike minor in overtime against the Penguins, Kane was named a healthy scratch in Lake Erie.