HERSHEY, Pa. – The Portland Pirates scored once in each period to erase an early deficit and go on to a 3-1 win over the HERSHEY BEARS on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
The BEARS jumped out to a 1-0 lead by converting on their first power play of the game. With Michael Stone in the box for boarding, the BEARS took 21 seconds to set up the puck in the right circle. Jon DiSalvatore took a pass from Jeff Taffe and sent a wrist shot on goal that Pirates netminder Chad Johnson knocked away with his blocker. But Tomas Kundratek grabbed the puck, gloved it down onto his stick and snapped a shot off the far post 6:18 for his third goal of the season.
Later in the period, Boyd Kane and Evan Brophey took penalties 44 seconds apart, leading a four-on-four situation. Pirates winger Chris Conner’s centering pass from the right corner banked off the skate of a BEARS defenseman and forced HERSHEY goaltender Braden Holtby to react with his pad. The puck then deflected to his right where Andy Miele was waiting, and the Pirates center lifted a shot over Holtby’s outstretched goal stick at 14:00 to knot the score.
Holtby was then tested frequently in the second period and made several glove saves to keep the BEARS alive. HERSHEY was denied an apparent go-ahead goal when Stanislav Galiev’s attempted pass from the left corner deflected off of the stick of Pirates defenseman David Rundblad and back over the arm of Johnson. Video replay was consulted and it was determined inconclusive enough to override the referee’s original call that the puck did not cross the goal line.
The Pirates then found a way to beat Holtby when they snuck Stone in from the left point, and played defenseman Mathieu Brodeur deep toward the left corner. Brodeur found Stone with a cross-ice pass, and Stone beat Holtby between the glove and right post for a 2-1 lead at 10:36.
The BEARS had a good chance to tie the game when Alexandre Bolduc was flagged for slashing in the third period, but at the end of the BEARS power play, Bolduc emerged from the box with a loose puck sliding toward the right circle. Holtby came out to race Bolduc to the puck, but Bolduc won and slid the puck into the vacated net at 10:05 to finish the scoring.
Holtby made 31 saves but fell to 3-3-0 on the season. Johnson’s 22 saves improved his record to 4-4-0. The BEARS were 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
HERSHEY travels north on Friday, November 16 to battle the Syracuse Crunch at 7:30 PM. The BEARS return home to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, November 17 at 7:00 PM.
Individual tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are currently on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.