The Hershey Bears shut out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-0 Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, tying the series at one game apiece. Game 3 of the best-of-five series is set for Tuesday at Giant Center in Hershey. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
Vitek Vanecek (21-10-6-2, 2.62 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Jeremy Smith (23-14-4-1, 2.92 GAA, .902 sv%) started in goal for the Sound Tigers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Walker – Megna– Whitney
Steman – Pilon – Snively
Gersich – McCarthy – Malenstyn
Johansen – Lewington
Geisser – Sproul
Williams – Hobbs
Scratches: Aaron Ness (upper body) and Kris Bindulis (upper body) were the injury scratches. Jusso Ikonen, Max Kammerer, Colby Williams, Joey Leach, Brian Pinho and Bobby Nardell0 were the healthy scratches in Game 2.
Call-ups: Devante Smith-Pelly was recalled by the Capitals and Vitek Vanecek was returned to Hershey on Friday.
The Bears would open the scoring with a redirected goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 11:15 of the opening frame. Lucas Johansen (1) with the lone assist.
The first period would end with the Bears leading 1-0. The Bears led in shots 13-12 for the first frame. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.
The Bears would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Riley Barber at 4:06 of the middle frame. Mike Sgarbossa (1) had the lone assist.
The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 2-0. The Bears outshot the Sound Tigers 13-9 for the second period, and led 26-21 after two periods. The Bears were 0-3 and the Sound Tigers 0-1 on the power play after 40 minutes.
The Bears found themselves down a man just 39 seconds into the third when Nathan Walker was hit with a high-sticking minor, an infraction the Chocolate and White managed to kill off. The two teams would see 4-on-4 play shortly after, as Barber and Bridgeport’s Mitchell Vande Sompel were called for cross-checking and roughing, respectively.
The Bears would get their fourth power play of the game less than a minute later as the Sound Tigers’ Parker Wotherspoon was sent to the sin bin for interference; the Bears would again fail to convert with the man-advantage. The Bears would get their fifth man-advantage with 9:07 left to play after Mike Sgarbossa was boarded by Bridgeport’s Steve Bernier. For the fifth time in as many tries, the Bears would fail to capitalize on the advantage in numbers. just under three minutes later, the Sound Tigers would get their third power play on a Tyler Lewington roughing penalty, one Hershey would successfully kill off.
The Bears would hold off Bridgeport the rest of the way to win 2-0 and tie the series at one game apiece. The shutout was Vitek Vanecek’s first of the postseason and the netminder stopped all 39 (to the Bears’ 34) Sound Tigers shots. The two teams went a combined 0-8 on the power play.
- The AHL box score for this game is here.