Hershey started off incredibly strong. They absolutely punished the Manitoba Moose in the first two minutes alone. Brian Fahey got the first goal of the night 43 seconds into the game. His shot came from the blue line and may have deflected off a Moose player before entering the goal. A little over a minute later, Nikita Kashirsky recorded his second goal of the season. Two shots for Hershey, two goals for Hershey.
Manitoba then took a time out to regain their composure. They rebounded and were able to keep calm despite their early deficit. In the last minutes of the period, they got their first goal of the night. It kind of looked like Patrick Wellar screened Dany Sabourin on that shot.
During the second period, the Bears relaxed a little. They stopped firing shots at Manitoba goaltender Eddie Lack. As a result, Manchester kicked it up and tied the game. It was a good cross ice pass for Manitoba but Sabourin didn’t handle it well. Instead of using lateral movement to slide across the crease, he panicked and dove.
Hershey regained the lead before the end of the second period. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Andrew Gordon scored on the power play with a shot right on the door step of the Manitoba goal. Shocking, I know.
During the third period, the first half was mostly uneventful. It didn’t get interesting until Manitoba tied it up again with a goal that beat Sabourin short side. I’m going to guess he wants that one back.
But have no fear! Andrew Gordon, power play player extraordinaire, is here to save the day! Once again, parking out in front of the net paid off. Lawrence Nycholat‘s shot from the blue line came towards the net and Gordon got his stick on it with less than thirty seconds left in the game. The Bears were able to stave off any last minute chances from the Moose and won 4-3 in exciting fashion.
- Former Hershey Captain, Bryan Helmer, had to be patient this season when he did not get to play in the AHL but it finally paid off. Helmer has signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Barons where he will play with former teammate Alexandre Giroux.
- Dylan Yeo is healthy again after missing a few games with a lower body injury. Unfortunately for him, he was sent down to South Carolina this morning. However, John Walton believes that he will be back sooner rather than later.
- Injury update: Andrew Joudrey was scratched with a lower body injury and Lawrence Nycholat returned to the line-up after missing a few games with an upper body injury.
- Boyd Kane did not make the trip to Manitoba because his wife is due to give birth any moment.
- The penalty kill unit was clutch today. The Bears killed off a perfect six-for-six penalties, including some penalties that came at key moments during the third period. All without penalty kill specialists Joudrey and Kane too.
Lines and Pairings:
Gordon – Aucoin – Bouchard
Greentree – Willsie – Pinizzotto
Lacroix – Rome – Kugryshev
Kashirsky – Bruess – Rechlicz
P. McNeill – Fahey
Nycholat – Miskovic
Collins – Wellar
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Andrew Gordon (HER)
2. Sergei Shirokov (MTB)
3. Mark Flood (MTB)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
1. Gordon: two goals, including game-winner
2. Greentree: two primary assists
3. Aucoin: two assists