Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 12/9/11

By Brian Ring

Hartford, CT, December 9, 2011 – Ryan Potulny scored two goals and added an assist, and Chris Bourque added a goal and an assist, to lead the Hershey Bears to a 5-3 victory over Connecticut Whale Friday night at the XL Center in Hartford.

Keith Aucoin recorded three assists for Hershey, which had to hold off a furious third-period rally by the Whale, who received a goal and an assist from Mats Zuccarello.

"We hit some (goal) posts, we had some good chances early," said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. "Of course we made a mistake or two that led to goals...but they stayed with it until the end of the game."

The Whale and the Bears had played a scoreless first period, despite Connecticut being afforded three power-play opportunities. The Whale allowed the Bears’ league-leading power-play one chance, in a frame that saw Hershey outshoot the Whale by an 8-4 margin.

Former Whale Tomas Kundratek opened the scoring, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead at 13:52 of the second period. Kundratek beat Connecticut goaltender Chad Johnson (22 saves) with a high snap shot for his second goal of the season, assisted by Jacob Micflikier and Potulny.

Hershey took a 2-0 lead with their dangerous power-play at 16:22 of the second, when Potulny slapped a shot past Johnson's glove side. Aucoin and Bourque, the AHL's top two leading scorers, both assisted on the goal. Bourque's pass across the slot to Potulny in the right circle left little chance for Johnson.

The Bears capitalized again on the power-play to put Hershey up 3-0 at 9:40, as Bourque's slap shot from between the hash marks went between the pads of Johnson. Aucoin received his second assist of the game on the goal, with Patrick McNeill also earning a helper.

Matt Pope scored for Hershey just 32 seconds later to up the Bears' lead to 4-0. Former Wolf Pack Matthew Ford and Christian Hanson each assisted on the goal.

The Whale finally broke through at 11:36 of the period to begin a third period comeback attempt, as Kelsey Tessier tipped Tim Erixon's shot past Hershey goaltender Dany Sabourin (21 saves).

Kris Newbury got Connecticut to within 4-2 at 12:49, stuffing a loose puck underneath the pads of Sabourin, with Mats Zuccarello and Andre Deveaux getting the assists.

The Whale found themselves within a goal with just over three minutes to play in the final period, when Zuccarello tipped another Erixon shot up and over Sabourin. Deveaux recorded his second assist of the night on the tally.

The Bears, however, withstood the Whale comeback attempt and iced the 5-3 win with an empty-net goal by Potulny with less than a second remaining.

"That [third period rally] was our best ten minutes of the game," said Gernander. "We put the number one power-play out on the ice too many times tonight, and that's costly in itself."

The Whale will be in home action again Saturday night, when they play host to the rival Providence Bruins for the first time this season (7:00). The game will be the first of five games to be televised live this season on WCCT-TV.

To continue reading, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.

Hershey Bears 5 at Connecticut Whale 3
Friday, December 9, 2011 - XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Hershey 0 2 3 - 5
Connecticut 0 0 3 - 3

1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Ford Her (hooking), 1:56; Newbury Ct (high-sticking), 5:31; Lacroix Her (high-sticking), 8:24; McNeill Her (closing hand on puck), 14:56.

2nd Period-1, Hershey, Kundratek 2 (Micflikier, Potulny), 13:02. 2, Hershey, Potulny 5 (Bourque, Aucoin), 16:22 (PP). Penalties-Erixon Ct (hooking), 4:16; Valentenko Ct (holding), 6:54; Parlett Ct (tripping), 14:56; Sabourin Her (tripping), 19:32.

3rd Period-3, Hershey, Bourque 12 (Aucoin, McNeill), 9:40 (PP). 4, Hershey, Pope 3 (Ford, Hanson), 10:12. 5, Connecticut, Tessier 2 (Erixon, Redden), 11:36. 6, Connecticut, Newbury 8 (Zuccarello, Deveaux), 12:49. 7, Connecticut, Zuccarello 8 (Erixon, Deveaux), 16:59 (PP). 8, Hershey, Potulny 6 (Aucoin, Kane), 19:59 (EN). Penalties-Brouillette Her (hooking), 0:25; McNeill Her (delay of game), 3:22; Newbury Ct (goaltender interference), 8:38; Wellar Her (roughing), 12:49; Deveaux Ct (roughing), 12:49; Hanson Her (high-sticking), 16:44; Bell Ct (hooking), 17:10.

Shots on Goal-Hershey 8-9-10-27. Connecticut 4-10-10-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 2 / 6; Connecticut 1 / 7.
Goalies-Hershey, Sabourin 6-4-1 (24 shots-21 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 8-4-2 (26 shots-22 saves).
A-3,027
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Kevin Redding (16), Paul Simeon (66).

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Five NFL teams set to rise up in 2016

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker