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Bears Gain Penalty Minutes and Goals Against Devils

Dany Sabourin lays on the ice in pain after being run down by Louis Robitaille. Photo by Kyle Mace

If you were looking for excitement tonight, you better have been watching the Hershey Bears play the Albany Devils tonight.

The game started off innocently. Brian Willsie opened scoring on a funny goal that he jammed past the Albany goaltender, Mike McKenna.

Then Louis Robitaille jumped on the ice and the game was never the same.

In true Robitaille fashion, he caused drama just four minutes into the game. Dany Sabourin went to clear the puck next to the goal and Robitaille absolutely ran him down. There was no effort to slow down and Sabourin fell awkwardly on his leg. He took a while to get back up but did finish the game and played pretty damn well. Robitaille received a game misconduct (along with two major penalties) and never returned. After the game, Robitaille claimed that he was just coming around the forecheck and that he didn’t mean to hit him. I guess that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

I’m awarding Robitaille’s dumb penalty as tonight’s game changer. During the subsequent power play, Steve Pinizzotto scored on the power play.

I won’t even begin to go into detail with all the goals tonight, but here’s the gist: Patrick Wellar and Brian Fahey added goals and the Devils were able to get one back before the end of first period.

In the second period, Francois Bouchard and Sean Collins scored, as well as Willsie getting his second goal of the night. McKenna was pulled and Dave Caruso took his unenviable spot.

The third period was better for the Devils, as they scored twice more. Suffice to say, it wasn’t enough, especially with Kyle Greentree adding a power play goal. Bears destroy Devils, 8-3.

To say this game was ugly would be the understatement of the century. With other 32 penalties and seven fights, there was not a dull moment in this game.

Even Keith Aucoin dropped the gloves with Matt Anderson. It was mostly a wrestling match but when Aucoin fights, you realize how insane this game really is.

So that’s that. I reckon tomorrow’s game against the Rochester Americans looks pretty calm at the moment. It’ll be hard to top tonight.

Tonight’s Notes:

  • Due to an injury to Michal Neuvirth, the Caps recalled Braden Holtby and so Todd Ford was backing up Sabourin tonight.
  • During Hershey’s break, Brian Fahey was recalled but he was sent back down without playing a game. Andrew Gordon also returned from his one-game stint with the Caps.
  • Wellar had a fantastic game, especially when you consider that it was his first game back after losing four teeth. He wore a cage the whole night though made it known that he’d be willing to take it off if someone wanted to fight him.
  • Bouchard’s goal was his first goal since December 4th. To give you an idea of how long it’s been, Mathieu Perreault assisted on his last goal before tonight.
  • A good night for the special teams. Although that was probably to be expected since Albany has one of the league’s worst power play and penalty kill units. The Bears, however, went 2-for-4 on the man advantage and held Albany back to kill 7 of 8 penalties.
  • The Albany Devils had some of the New Jersey Devils brass in the house. I doubt they were happy with the effort they saw tonight.

Video Highlights:

Lines and Pairings:

Kane – Aucoin – Gordon
Greentree – Willsie – Pinizzotto
Bouchard – Joudrey – Rome
Lacroix – Bruess – Rechlicz

P McNeill – Collins
Wellar – Fahey
Kroll – Miskovic

Actual three stars of the game:

1. Brian Willsie (HER)
2. Steve Pinizzotto (HER)
3. Patrick Wellar (HER)

Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:

Agreeing with the actual three stars.
1. Willsie: two goals, one assist
2. Kane: one goal, two assists
3. Wellar: one goal, two assists

Honorary star to Louis Robitaille for putting Albany in a tough spot from the start.

More Photos by Kyle Mace

Being close to the goal pays off as Willsie scores his first goal of the night.

Beaker has to tend to Sabourin after the hit.

Say goodbye to Robitaille.

Pinizzotto scores on the power play.

Fahey thanks Gordon for the beautiful assist on his goal.

Rechlicz and Leblond, Round One

Rechlicz tells the officials to back off and let him finish.

Typical Bouchard face as he finally breaks his scoring drought.

Lou Lamoriello watches the game not from the press box, but from section 101.

Bruess and Mills in their “secondary altercation.”

Rechlicz vs Leblond, Round Two. Nice face, Recker.

So maniacal.

Aucoin has had enough of being pushed around…

So he finds a guy (roughly) his height and goes at it!

Celebrating the win and Sabourin’s health!

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