(Bridgeport, CT) — Hershey goalie Vitek Vanecek stopped all 39 shots he faced leading the Bears to a 2-0 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Saturday night victory at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport evens the best-of-five AHL playoff series at 1-1.
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Mike Sgarbossa scored for the Bears in the first period and Riley Barber added another early in the second to provide all the offense Hershey would need.
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After a heated first game, the Sound Tigers and Bears were back at it on Saturday night. But the intensity of Friday’s double-overtime victory appeared to take its toll as New York Islanders AHL affiliate Bridgeport played a mostly uninspired game. The series is now even at one game apiece.
Center Jeff Kubiak was inserted on the first line as Travis St. Denis served a one-game suspension for Friday’s hit on Aaron Ness.
The Hershey-Washington goalie shuttle will continue throughout these playoffs as the Capitals prefer to have a third goalie readily available. Replacement, Vitek Vanecek was perfect, turning away all 39 Bridgeport attempts.
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz were in attendance and watched The Baby Islanders spend most of the night on their heels.
Bridgeport gifted the Bears three straight power plays over the first two periods. Hershey’s futility on the powerplay continued.
But it was 5 on 5 where Hershey consistently outperformed BST. The Sound Tigers have yet to record an even-strength goal in the series.
In the third, Bridgeport started hitting bodies and the net more frequently, but it was too little too late as Vanecek preserved his shutout.
While the Sound Tigers were unable to find twine, Smith continued to hold down the fort, denying Steve Whitney’s breakaway attempt at 7:22 of the third.
Brent Thompson has fewer roster options. The versatile Yannick Rathgeb was loaned to the Swiss National team in advance of the IIHF World Championship.
Hershey received goals from Mike Sgarbossa and Riley Barber, while Matt Lorito launched a game-high seven shots on goal and hit the post once.
Josh Ho-Sang has overhandled, undershot (3 SOG’s in 2 games) and made some egregious turnovers. Newly acquired Bobo Carpenter has yet to dress.
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