The Hershey Bears fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 (2OT) in Game 1 of their best-of-five first-round series, Friday night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Game 2 is set for Saturday night in Bridgeport. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
The Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, but that would be it. The Sound Tigers would score three unanswered goals, the final in double-overtime, to win it 3-2. Ilya Samsonov was outstanding, stopping 49 of 52, with all three Sound Tigers goals coming on the power play. One of the numerous flurry of saves from Samsonov:
Ilya Samsonov (20-14-2-3, 2.70 GAA, .898 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Christopher Gibson (22-11-5-1, 2.84 GAA, ,902 sv%) got the start in goal for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Snively – Sgarbossa – Barber
Walker – Megna– Whitney
Gersich – Pilon – Malenstyn
Steman – McCarthy – Pinho
Ness – Lewington
Leach – Sproul
Johansen – Hobbs
Scratches: Kris Bindulis (upper body). Tobias Geisser, Jusso Ikonen, Max Kammerer, Colby Williams and Bobby Nardell0 were healthy scratches in Game 1.
Suspended: Liam O’Brien was given a three-game suspension for his charging call in last Friday’s game against Hartford. This was the third game of his suspension.
Call-ups: Devante Smith-Pelly was recalled by the Capitals and Vitek Vanecek was returned to Hershey earlier in the day.
The Bears were outshot 8-1 through the first 10 minutes of the first period, but Ilya Samsonov was locked-in and very sharp. The Bears briefly turned up the offensive zone pressure at the 10 minute mark, but the Sound Tigers would once again tilt the ice for the remainder of the first frame.
The first period would end without a score. The Sound Tigers outshot the Bears 15-5 for the first 20 minutes.
The Bears would strike first with a goal from Chris McCarthy at 8:16 of the second period. Steve Whitney made the nice feed from below the goal to setup the score. Whitney (1) and Tyler Lewington (1) were credited with the helpers.
Jayson Megna would stretch the Bears lead to 2-0 with a great effort on a Bears penalty kill. Megna would jump on a loose puck, flick it into the Bears zone and out hustle the Sound Tiger play to gain position on the puck, finishing with a top-shelf beauty.
The Sound Tigers would close the gap to one moments later with a power play goal from Kieffer Bellows at 14:21 of the second period.
The second period ended with the Bears holding on to a 2-1 lead. The Sound Tigers outshot the Bears 12-9 for the second period, and 27-14 after two periods. The Bears were 0 for 1 and the Sound Tigers 1 for 5 on the power play after 40 minutes.
Aaron Ness would be injured on a scary play at the 11:00 minute mark of the final period. Ness would go head first into the boards and would lay motionless on the ice for a period of time. Medical support from both teams, as well as arena EMT’s would respond to Ness.
He would eventually be taken off the ice on a stretcher, as his teammates surrounded him.
The Sound Tigers would tie the game with another power play goal, this time by Steve Bernier, at 17:52 of the final frame.
Regulation would end with the game tied 2-2. The Bears outshot the Sound Tigers 9-8 in the final frame, with the Sound Tigers leading 35-23 after regulation. The Bears were 0 for 3 and the Sound Tigers 2 for 7 on the power play after regulation.
The first overtime went scoreless. The Sound Tigers outshot the Bears 11-5 in the first overtime.
The Sound Tigers would win it in the second overtime on a power play goal from Kieffer Bellows at 13:36.
Last reports from the hospital were somewhat positive concerning the status of Aaron Ness. We’ll keep you posted.
- The Sound Tigers outshot the Bears 52-31.
- Ilya Samsonov stopped 49 of 52 for a .942 game save percentage.
- Tyler Lewington led the Bears in shots with 4.
- Attendance: 4,381
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM BRIDGEPORT