Giroux helps Bears stay alive with overtime victory


Alexandre Giroux netted his second goal of the game just 20 seconds into overtime as Hershey staved off elimination with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday before 6,019 fans at the Giant Center.

Giroux also scored in the second period for the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Bears, who still trail the best-of-7 East Division semifinal series, 3-1.

Following a scoreless first period, Giroux’s power play goal at 9:00 of the middle stanza put the Bears on top 1-0. But the Penguins’ Chris Minard tallied the first of his two on the night at 3:42 of the third period to make it a 1-1 contest.

After Hershey defenseman Jonathan Paiement gave his team a 2-1 edge on the power play at the 16:59 mark, Minard scored with just 19 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Giroux, who reached the Calder Cup Finals with the Bears a year ago, ended it on the first shift of overtime.

Both of Giroux’s goals were assisted by 2006 Calder Cup champion Eric Fehr, who played for parent-club Washington on Tuesday night as the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Minard’s effort gave him a total of four goals and five points through the first four games of the series.

Two-time Calder Cup champion Frederic Cassivi made 32 saves in net for the Bears, who will again face elimination when the series shifts back to Wilkes-Barre for Game 5 on Friday.

Rich Peverley tallied the game-winning goal and two-time AHL All-Star Pekka Rinne pitched a 37-save shutout as Milwaukee recorded a 2-0 win over visiting Chicago at the Bradley Center, evening the teams’ West Division semifinal series at two games apiece.

Both teams were scoreless through the first two periods, but Peverley provided all the offense the Admirals would need at 5:45 of the final stanza.

Bryan Schmidt and Mark Matheson picked up helpers on the goal by Peverley, who suited up for his first Calder Cup Playoff game of the year after posting a pair of assists in six Stanley Cup Playoff games for parent-club Nashville.

Antti Pihlstrom added a late unassisted insurance goal for the Admirals, who will travel back to Chicago’s Allstate Arena for Game 5 on Thursday.

Toronto scored a goal in each period, and a late empty-netter proved big as the Marlies posted a 3-2 win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

The victory knotted their North Division semifinal series at two games apiece, with Game 5 set to be played in San Antonio on Friday.

With his team holding a 2-1 lead late in the game, Marlies defenseman Chris Harrington scored into an empty net with 38 seconds left to make it a 3-1 score. But San Antonio’s David Spina netted a power play goal with nine seconds to go, accounting for the final margin.

John Mitchell and Michel Leveille also lit the lamp for Toronto, and goaltender Scott Clemmensen earned the win with 34 saves on 36 shots.

Steven Goertzen tallied the Rampage’s other goal early in the second period.