First thing’s first: huge congratulations to Jared DeMichiel for earning his first AHL start and win tonight as the Bears battled the Providence Bruins! DeMichiel was fantastic, having to face a lot of shots early and then continuously seeing more shots than his opponent on the other side, Nolan Schaefer, did. By the end, DeMichiel stopped 28 of 31 shots!
But the Bears gave DeMichiel an early lead to work with. Boyd Kane, continuing his recent point streak, led the offensive attack and scored the first goal of the night. A couple of minutes later, Kyle Greentree reached the twenty goal mark and beat Schaefer.
A very scary moment came midway through the first period. At first it seemed harmless enough when Trevor Bruess and Antoine Roussel dropped the gloves. They both threw some punches and fell to the ice. And then Bruess did not get back up. Very quickly, trainer Dan Stuck ran to his side and the medical staff of the Providence arena came to help.
It was hard to tell what was hurt but Bruess did not move a lot. Eventually, they stabilized him on a stretcher and took him off the ice. The only good news was that Bruess did manage to give the crowd a little wave as they rolled him off. John Walton announced that the news is that Bruess has a “fairly significant lower body injury.” We wish all the best to Trevor and hope that he can be back on the ice soon.
Once the game started up again, the Bruins finally managed to get a puck past DeMichiel. Maxime Sauve was left all by himself right in front of the goal and he went low and cut Hershey’s lead in half.
During the second period, Kane regained the two-goal lead on his second goal of the night. The goal came from an absolutely perfect passing sequence from Keith Aucoin to Francois Bouchard to Kane. Just beautiful. The Bruins fought back to get the game within one goal again. I’m willing to bet no one had Brian McGrattan down as their guess for the goal scorer.
At the very end of the period, the Bears were on the penalty kill and Providence worked their way up ice for one last attempt for time ran out. In the neutral zone, the Bears fought for the puck and Aucoin got away with it with no Bruin to fight him. He sped down the ice and sniped it right past Schaefer to give the Bears a 4-2 lead.
There was only one scoring change in the third period when the Bruins scored on the power play. Things got interesting in the last two minutes when Providence pulled their goaltender and Greentree was whistled for a delay of game. Thankfully, the Bears and DeMichiel stopped any last shots and the Bears won 4-3!
- Worth noting: the Bears finished with only thirteen shots on goal. That is the lowest amount of shots in one game through the season so far. The Bruins continually held the shot advantage throughout the game.
- With one goal and two assists tonight, Aucoin’s point streak reaches thirteen consecutive games.
- DeMichiel is now the fifth goalie to play and record a win for the Bears this season.
- Joel Rechlicz and Brian McGrattan dropped the gloves tonight. It was a very long bout and it was mostly a draw but I’ll give a slight win to McGrattan.
- Aucoin’s short-handed goal is Hershey’s first short-hander since Jay Beagle scored one against the Charlotte Checkers on December 12th. (s/t to John Walton for that stat)
Lines and Pairings:
Kane – Aucoin – Bouchard
Greentree – Willsie – Pinizzotto
Kugryshev – Beagle – Rome
Blight – Bruess – Rechlicz
McNeill – Collins
Souray – Kroll
Wellar – Miskovic
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Keith Aucoin (HER)
2. Boyd Kane (HER)
3. Brian McGrattan (PRO)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
1. Aucoin: game-winning goal and two assists
2. Kane: two goals
3. DeMichiel: first AHL start and win; stopped 28 of 31 shots