Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bears finish off Rats in OT, 5-4

ALBANY --- Mathieu Perreault scored the tying goal with 1:13 remaining in regulation and followed with the game winner 2:23 into overtime as the Hershey Bears rallied past the Albany River Rats, 5-4 on Thursday to sweep the East Division final series in four games.
The game was final contest for the River Rats franchise, which will be relocated to North Carolina to become the Charlotte Checkers for next season.
The reigning Calder Cup champion Bears now move on to the Eastern Conference final against either Worcester or Manchester.
Jerome Samson picked off an errant Hershey pass, sped in and lifted the puck past outstretched goalie Michal Neuvirth with 9:41 in regulation to stake Albany to a crucial two-goal lead at 4-2.
But the Bears rallied to force overtime as while on the power play, Alexandre Giroux roofed a shot past goalie Justin Peters at 16:37 and Perreault's blast from the left point trickled past Peters at 18:47.
The Bears had drawn even at 2-2 only 59 seconds into the second period on Chris Bourque's laser shot, which beat goalie Peters high stick side with only one second remaining on a Hershey power play.
The Rats then took advantage of a Hershey miscue to take a 3-2 lead as after defenseman Zach Miskovic bumped into Neuvirth to the left of the goal, Zach Boychuk scored into the wide-open net at 10:31 of the second period.
Hershey struck first on Chris Bourque's power-play goal 8:23 into the game.
But the Rats responded with two goals --- both set up by Drayson Bowman --- consecutive shots to take the advantage.
Samson scored on a Bowman rebound at 11:58 as the two forwards broke in alone and Bowman's initial shot was denied by Neuvirth.
Chris Terry then converted on Albany's first power play, taking Bowman's cross-ice pass and beating Neuvirth from the right faceoff circle at 14:58.


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