After a crushing defeat on Wednesday, the same two teams faced off tonight. Armed with Nolan Schaefer in goal, the Bears were hoping for a much different outcome against a tough Norfolk Admirals team.
The first period was one of the best twenty minutes of hockey the Bears have put together this season. They were completely in control. Schaefer, in his first start as a Bear, made this phenomenal diving save during an Admirals power play. It fired up the crowd and the players. During the same penalty, Brian Willsie chased the puck down ice and Dustin Tokarski came out to clear the puck. His mishandled it and Willsie took off with it. To say that it was a sharp angle shot for Willsie is an understatement. Nevertheless, he someone managed to put Hershey up with an unassisted shorthanded goal.
Speaking of Willsie, the guy was having a fantastic period. He got his second goal of the night in the same period when he capitalized on a rebound shot.
Unfortunately, the second period didn’t go quite as well. The Admirals picked up their game and managed to tie it up. The game-tying goal came in the final 20 seconds of the second period. And then mayhem ensued.
The major problem was not that the Admirals had tied it up. It was a funny bounce but there’s no doubt that it was good goal. The problem came during the discussion afterwards when the refs were talking about the goal. Boyd Kane got a ten minute misconduct for abuse of officials. Meanwhile, Tokarski took offense to something and threw a water bottle towards the Hershey bench. Lucky for him, Joel Rechlicz was on the bench because Recker was mad. Eventually, they were able to wrap up the final 14 seconds of the period but the players weren’t finished. There was still some pushing and shoving and one official had to hold Sheldon Souray back while he mouthed off at Tokarski.
First period went to the Bears, second period went to the Admirals and it all came down to the third.
Tonight was a two referee game. In this case, two is not better than one. Keith Aucoin was high-sticked and neither ref was looking. As Aucoin skated towards the bench, covering his face, it looked like he was a blindsided by a hit of an Admiral’s shoulder. Yet again, no call. Aucoin went down the tunnel and didn’t return for the rest of the game. We’ll keep you updated on our Twitter with any information about his condition.
Just when it seemed like we might be going to overtime, the man of the hour, Willsie, set up Mathieu Perreault for a beautiful shot to give Hershey the game-winning goal. It was tense final few minutes but the Bears hung on and got an intense win against their rivals. Bears win 3-2.
- Just some administrative stuff: Dmitri Orlov has requested to change the spelling of his name to Dmitry Orlov. Adjust your rosters accordingly.
- The penalty kill unit was fantastic tonight. They killed off all five Norfolk power plays, including two 5-on-3s.
- Braden Holtby is healthy again but he was called up to Washington to back up Michal Neuvirth while Semyon Varlamov is injured.
- Tonight Schaefer became the seventh goalie to play for the Bears this season and the eight to dress for a Bears game.
- Souray’s shot never fails to amaze me. It’s latest victim is Tokarski’s mask. During the first period, Souray’s shot ricocheted off Tokarski’s shoulder and it looked like it broke a strap. Unbelievable.
Lines and Pairings:
Greentree – Aucoin – Willsie
Kane – Perreault – Bouchard
Lacroix – Joudrey – de Kastrozza
Rome – Carroll – Rechlicz
McNeill – Collins
Yeo – Fahey
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Mathieu Perreault (HER)
2. Brian Willsie (HER)
3. Nolan Schaefer (HER)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
1. Willsie: two goals and an assist
2. Perreault: game-winning goal
3. Schaefer: stopped 29 of 31 shots in his Hershey debut
More photos from Kyle M.