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Gauthier Scores Twice, Monarchs Lose

by Kim Mueller / Los Angeles Kings
Gabe Gauthier scored two goals for the Monarchs in the OT loss.

HERSHEY, PA – Left wing Chris Bourque’s goal at 10:28 of the overtime period lifted the Hershey Bears over the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, in overtime at the Giant Center on Saturday night. Hershey has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series of the 2010 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Final. Game three is at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Monday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m.

“We’ve got guys playing their hearts out so I’m not disappointed in their effort,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. “We didn’t have a whole lot of luck around the net. (Hershey) did a good job keeping us away from Grade-A chances.

“We’re giving it everything we’ve got. (Jonathan) Bernier played sensational. Trevor Lewis was real solid from start-to-finish. Drew Bagnall played his heart out. We need everyone to be on to beat this team.”

Bourque’s sixth goal of the post-season came at 10:28 of the overtime period. Skating on a 2-on-1 breakaway, center Keith Aucoin fed a pass over to Bourque streaking down the right wing for the one-timer that beat Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Left wing Boyd Kane earned an assist on the game-winning goal.

Bourque put the Bears up 1-0 at 3:07 of the opening period with his fifth tally of the post-season. Center Jay Beagle won the face-off in the left circle in the Monarchs zone. The puck was fed back to Bourque just outside of the circle and the forward blasted a one-timer that avoided traffic to beat Bernier on his glove side.

Skating on the power play, center Gabe Gauthier scored his fifth goal of the post-season to tie the game at 1-1 at 13:58 of the first frame. Right wing Trevor Lewis collected a pass in the left corner and gently floated the puck into the slot. Left wing Kyle Clifford battled with the Bears defenseman as he swiped his stick at the puck. Gauthier, positioned on the right doorstep, found the bouncing puck and flipped it into the net behind Bears netminder Michal Neuvirth.

Gauthier tallied his second goal of the night to give the Monarchs their first lead of the series at 1:07 of the middle period. Center Corey Elkins left the puck for defenseman Drew Bagnall at the left point. Bagnall blasted a slap shot that Neuvirth made the pad save on. The rebound popped free between the hash marks where Gauthier ripped a one-timer into the top left corner of the net for his sixth tally of the playoffs and to give the Monarchs a 2-1 advantage.

Center Steve Pinizzotto tied the game at 2-2 with his fourth tally of the post-season at 3:35 of the final stanza. Skating on a 2-on-1 breakaway, right wing Francois Bouchard carried the puck down the left wing with Pinizzotto skating down the center of the Monarchs zone. At the left wing half-wall, Bouchard passed the puck to Pinizzotto in the slot for the redirection into the Monarchs cage. Aucoin assisted on the tying goal.

Bernier (8-4) took his fourth loss of the playoffs with 37 saves on 40 shots. Neuvirth (8-0) earned his eighth win of the post-season stopping 31-of-33 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Hershey was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

NOTABLES: Manchester lost their first overtime contest of this post-season to bring their record to 3-1…Center Gabe Gauthier extended his point-streak to six games with two goals in game two for a total of six goals and one assist for seven points during his current streak…Bears center Keith Aucoin extended his assist streak to a league-leading 10 games with his 13th and 14th assists.
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