04/14/2013 10:00 PM
The Hershey Bears used five power play goals to earn a 6-3 win over the Portland Pirates in front of 5,606 Sunday afternoon at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Joey Crabb registered a hat trick and added an assist, while Jeff Taffe also had a four point night for the Bears. The loss, coupled with Manchester’s 3-0 win over the Worcester Sharks leaves the Pirates magic number to clinch a Calder Cup Playoff spot at 3.
Starting goaltender Chad Johnson and the Pirates’ penalty kill were tested early. Brendan Shinnimin was sent off for hooking 1:59 into the first period. Johnson made a handful of big saves on the penalty kill, with the biggest being a pad save to deny Jon DiSalvatore. Shinnimin nearly redeemed himself after stepping out of the box, making a nice move around the Hershey defense before being denied by Bears’ starter Philipp Grubauer. The Pirates finished the period 0 for 2 on the power play, and were unable to take advantage of a full 5 on 3 man advantage. Crabb was sent off for holding and Taffe picked up a roughing call at 17:35 to send the Pirates on the two man advantage, but the game remained scoreless after one period of play.
Hershey used the power play to strike three times in the second period. The Bears started the period on the power play as the result of a Nick Johnson slashing call carrying over from the first. Tomas Kundratek put the Bears on the board, sending a blast from the blue line over the shoulder of Chad Johnson for his 16th of the season just 28 seconds into the period. A little over three minutes later, the Bears found themselves back on the power play as Chris Brown went to the box for slashing. Peter LeBlanc made the Pirates pay, redirecting a pass from Jon DiSalvatore under Johnson for his 12th of the season at 4:30. Maxim Goncharov answered for the Pirates late in the period, picking up a loose puck along the boards and beating Grubauer low with a backhand shot. Hershey made it a two goal deficit again before heading to the locker rooms. This time, with Mathieu Brodeur in the box for holding, it was Crabb who buried a rebound for the power play goal and a 3-1 Bears lead at 19:03 of the second.
Troy Bodie scored his first in a Pirates uniform to get the Pirates back within one in the third period. Bodie surprised Grubauer with a backhand shot along the ice as he was falling 6:49 into the period to bring the score to 3-2. Crabb responded once again for Hershey, receiving a pass in front from DiSalvatore for the easy one timer and a 4-2 lead. Crabb added to his point and goal total later in the period, once again on the power play. This time it was Taffe setting up Crab, who was once again left alone in front, for the back door goal. The hat trick goal, coming at 15:13 of the third, gave Crabb a total of six goals in nine games with Hershey, with Taffepicking up his fourth assist of the night. Dmitry Orlov finished off the scoring for Hershey, blasting a shot from the point passed Johnson to give the Bears a 6-2 lead. The goal was the fifth power play goal of the night for the Bears. Bodie then tipped home a Brandon Gormley shot from the point for his second of the night to make it 6-3 Pirates.
The Bears improve to 34-30-3-6 this season, with Philipp Grubauer improving to 13-8-2. The Pirates fall to 38-29-3-2, while Chad Johnson drops to 16-15-1. The Pirates have dropped 4 straight games but remain in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with a magic number of 3 points to clinch a playoff spot.
The Pirates get back to action Tuesdaynight against the Sound Tigers for the first of three games against Bridgeport this week. Puck drop is set for 7 PM from Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Tuesday’s game can be heard on 1310 AM WLOB, and online on portlandpiratesradio.com and AHL Live, with the pregame show starting at 6:40 with Jeff Mannix.