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Belleville Senators

Power Play Costs Bears in OT

BELLEVILLE, Ont. – The Hershey Bears battled to overtime against the Belleville Senators on Friday evening, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to get a win as the Senators fired a shot past Pheonix Copley to earn a 3-2 decision. Mike Sgarbossa and Aliaksei Protas scored in the loss for the Bears, who earned a point on this night as Copley stopped 32 shots while Mads Sogaard stopped 36 shots and was the game’s first star. Sogaard was the difference in this one as he made six key saves on the Bears on a full two minutes of power-play time to start overtime that led to the winner from Roby Jarventie, his tenth of the season.

By all counts, it was a much-improved game from the Bears a day after they were blanked by the Toronto Marlies on Thursday afternoon. After falling behind on a power-play goal from Jonathan Aspirot early on, the Bears scored their first power-play goal in the month of March when Sgarbossa fired a shot eight seconds into the man advantage past a screed Sogaard to even the score. Hershey would take the lead in the second when Protas buried a rebound from a Leason shot for his fifth of the season. Egor Sokolov would be credited with his 15th of the season to even the score at two, as the puck rainbowed in off a blocked centering feed.

The Bears went into overtime with a full two minutes of power play time, and despite some great looks including a shot and a rebound for Garrett Pilon and Sgarbossa, the puck stayed out thanks to a great set of saves by Sogaard. Belleville ended the game in the extra session on the rush when Jarventie fired through a screen off the rush that got through Copley to end the game in the extra session.

It’s an unfortunate result for the Bears, who continue to have their lackluster power play haunt them despite breaking a massive scoreless streak on the man advantage. Hershey has had previous success in the overtime period but losing weapons like Joe Snively and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has clearly hurt them in that regard despite being the better of the two teams in the extra session.

The point, combined with a loss in regulation by the Hartford Wolf Pack, does keep the Bears well within distance to pass their Atlantic Division rival as the Bears trail them by 0.006 in the standings by percentage points. The Bears will take on their opponent, the Laval Rocket, this afternoon at 3:00.

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