BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Tomas Kundratek scored twice, including the overtime winner, and Dany Sabourin made 35 saves to help the HERSHEY BEARS to their seventh consecutive win on the road, a 4-3 decision over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena. The game was also team captain Boyd Kane's 1,000th as a professional.
The Sound Tigers started the scoring at 3:39 of the first period, sparked by a scrap between defenseman Brett Gallant and BEARS forward Matt Clackson. Nino Niederreiter led a two-on-one rush by carrying down the left side and toward the goal line. He sent a perfect pass over a defenseman's stick and onto the tape of Johan Sundstrom for a one-timer that got by Sabourin.
The BEARS tied the game at 13:20, crashing the goal crease of Kevin Poulin. Zach Hamill backhanded a pass toward the top of Poulin's crease, where Clackson and Ryan Stoa were battling. Poulin sprawled to deny a chance, but Stoa got enough of the puck to slide it under the netminder and into the net.
Just 45 seconds later, Kundratek would take a faceoff win from Ryan Potulny and fire a hard slap shot that eluded Poulin inside the left goal post, giving the BEARS a 2-1 lead.
But before the period expired, the Sound Tigers evened the game. Casey Cizikas would flip the puck from the left corner toward a collection of bodies at Sabourin's net. The puck would bounce toward the open right side with Sabourin down, and Colin McDonald tipped it home at 17:03 for the equalizer.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period.
After surviving a four-minute power play for Bridgeport that was partially wiped out by a penalty assessed to Niederreiter, the BEARS would still find themselves back down by one goal. Sabourin denied McDonald on a partial breakaway, but the loose puck sat in the crease just long enough for Brandon DeFazio to stuff it home at 7:49.
Once again, the BEARS needed less than a minute to tie the game back up at 3-3. Jeff Taffe flipped a pass forward from neutral ice, and Evan Barlow used his speed to catch up to it, draw Poulin down and place a backhander under the crossbar for his second of the season at 8:21.
Bridgeport dictated the pace through the first half of overtime, but in the final half-minute, Kundratek's heroics sent the BEARS to victory. The defenseman chipped a puck out of the BEARS' defensive zone and up the right boards. Kundratek out-raced Sound Tigers defenseman Jon Landry, poked the puck passed him and completed his breakaway by tucking a backhander inside the left post at 4:34.
Sabourin earned the win to improve to 5-4-0. Poulin fell to 10-7-2, making 24 saves on 28 shots. The BEARS did not receive a power play in the game, and killed off all five Sound Tigers power play chances.
The BEARS return home on Saturday, January 12 to host the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 PM.