As the regular season dwindles down, the Hershey Bears traveled up North to play the Adirondack Phantoms for the final time this season.
All in all, it was quiet start to the game. Both goalies faced about the same amount of shots and both teams had good scoring chances. The Phantoms had two power plays but the Bears held them back. Unfortunately, Adirondack had the lead after one period. A pass came to Ben Holmstrom from behind the net and Nolan Schaefer couldn’t stop it in time.
Andrew Carroll did his part to get the team going by dropping the gloves with Marc-Andre Bourdon during the second period. For relatively smaller guys, this was a pretty nice fight. Good punches from both guys. I give the win to Bourdon though because he had the final say.
And that was all that happened during the second period. The Bears killed off an early third period penalty but that didn’t stop Adirondack. A puck was deflected in front of Schaefer and suddenly the Phantoms were up 2-0. It wasn’t until just about the halfway point that the Bears finally broke the shutout! Brian Willsie scored and tied his career best in goals. Coincidentally, the last time he scored 29 goals in one season was back in 2002-2003 when he was the Bears.
Even with Willsie making it a close game again, it wasn’t enough. Bears lose 2-1.
Ironically enough, this was the healthiest line-up the Bears have dressed in a long time. Looking at the lines and pairings below, you would think this team wouldn’t have any problem finding the back of the net. In fact, the scratches for this game (healthy or not), have accounted for only 26 of the 230 goals Hershey has scored this season.
Nevertheless, the Bears’ offense didn’t play a full game tonight and the score shows it. The good news is that there are two more games this weekend for them to make up for it.
- The starting goaltender for tonight was supposed to be Braden Holtby but there was a last minute change and instead Schaefer was in. Meanwhile in Washington, Michal Neuvirth fell ill. It is believed the Holtby was called up to either back-up or play for the Capitals in tomorrow’s game against Montreal.
- Keith Aucoin made his long-awaited return to the line-up after being injured by a cheap shot from Chris Durno. Tonight was his first game since March 5th.
- Bright side? The penalty kill unit was pretty good, yet again. They stopped all four of Adirondack’s power plays.
Lines and Pairings:
Kane – Aucoin – Gordon
Greentree – Perreault – Willsie
Kozek – Lacroix – Bouchard
Carroll – Joudrey – Pinizzotto
McNeill – Collins
Fahey – Orlov
Wellar – Miskovic
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Ben Holmstrom (ADK)
2. Nolan Schaefer (HER)
3. Michael Leighton (ADK)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
1. Willsie: scored Hershey’s only goal
2. Schaefer: stopped 29 of 31 shots
3. Carroll: good fight