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

Report: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

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

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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