We said earlier that the organization was one goalie injury away from having a serious problem on our hands. In front of a sold out crowd tonight against the Albany Devils, Jared DeMichiel showed that don’t need to completely panic. He was a little shaky at first and gave up a goal when he couldn’t get control of the puck. But after that, he settled down and stood up for some great saves, including a jaw-dropping one on Darcy Zajac in the third period. By the end, he stopped 27 of 30 shots.
After allowing the Devils the early lead, Boyd Kane countered with a goal of his own, bouncing the puck past Mike McKenna. Later on the 5-on-3 power play, the Bears took their first lead of the night on a goal from Francois Bouchard.
Steve Pinizzotto scored to start the second period, also on the power play. The Devils didn’t respond until the waning moments of the second period but they still stood a goal behind.
Kane scored again in the third period. His second goal would prove to be the game-winner as the Devils scored with 18.4 seconds left. Can we talk about Boyd Kane for a second? We all know that Kane is a clutch player, but as of late he has really stepped his game up even more. He’s been racking up the points and some confidence.
The story of the night for many people was the AHL debut of Dmitri Orlov. I think all around, people were impressed. Troy Mann did a great job coaching Orlov. He was doing a great job of keeping up with his teammates and definitely didn’t look like he was new to the team. He even recorded his first AHL point tonight with a secondary assist on Pinizzotto’s power play goal. He was on ice for both of Hershey’s power play goals and none of Albany’s goals. He also finished the game with three shots on goal. I think it’s safe to say that Hershey fans are happy to add this Russian to the team.
The other story of the night is Joel Rechlicz. I said it on Twitter during the game but I need to repeat it: it’s absolutely mind-blowing how long Rechlicz can fight before he tires out. I’ve never seen a player consistently have fights that last over a minute all while throwing some great punches. Tonight, he was speared in the ribs by Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (yes, him again) and they fought, of cour se. All while using only his left arm, Rechlicz took down Leblond and was even yelling at him for more. What a champ.
And that wraps up yet another exciting game against the Devils. Bears win 4-3. Goalie carousel be damned.
- This morning, Jay Beagle was recalled to Washington to play against the New York Islanders. This move was paired with the announcement that Mathieu Perreault was sent down to Hershey. Although he has been sent down, he is not expected to play this weekend.
- Before the game, Semyon Varlamov was injured and the Caps had to call up Todd Ford. Yesterday, they signed Ford to an NHL contract so that he would be available for a call up in the case of injuries. Since the Bears needed to quickly find a back-up for DeMichiel, they signed Bobby Jarosz of the Reading Royals to a PTO. Jarosz has never played an AHL game and only has two ECHL games under his belt.
- The penalty kill unit looked back to normal tonight, stopping all four of Albany’s power play chances. It was the first game since February 15th that the Bears haven’t allowed a power play goal.
- Tonight’s game was DeMichiel’s first start to finish win on home ice. His first win came against the Providence Bruins on February 11th.
Lines and Pairings:
Kane – Aucoin – Pinizzotto
Greentree – Willsie – Bouchard
Lacroix – Joudrey – de Kastrozza
Kugryshev – Carroll – Rechlicz
McNeill – Fahey
Collins – Souray
Wellar – Orlov
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Boyd Kane (HER)
2. Keith Aucoin (HER)
3. Steve Pinizzotto (HER)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
Agreeing with the actual three stars
1. Kane: two goals including the game-winner
2. Aucoin: assists on all four Hershey goals
3. Pinizzotto: one goal and one assist
More Photos by Kyle Mace