It has been three straight years the Bears have played on a banner raising (and dropping) night for the Calder Cup champions in the AHL, but this is the first in those three years that it has not been their own. With the return of Chris Bourque and Graham Mink, and the additions of Christian Hanson and Ryan Potulny, the Bears look to win a Cup this season, and they showed that them meant business as they beat the Senators, 3-2.
With all the special team points tonight, you would have thought it was a football game. Christian Hanson would start the 2011-12 season with an unassisted, short handed goal almost halfway through the first period. It was more about shots in the first period as the Bears would have two times the amount of shots then the B-Sens, 14-7.
Chris Bourque then would score a “shorty” of his own, with assists from the man who is seventh all time in AHL assists, Keith Aucoin, giving Hershey a 2-0 lead. Binghamton would cut the lead back down to one as Patrick Wiercioch would get one past Braden Holtby. Patrick Wellar, scoring what would turn out to be the game winner, 13:46 into the second, put the Bears up 3-1. The Senators, trying to make a comeback with under five minutes to go in the game, Mark Parrish from Corey Locke make it 3-2, but that was not enough as the Bears win the first game of their 74th season in the American Hockey League.
- Bears are 2-1 in banner raising nights in the past three seasons
Three stars of the game:
1. Patrick Wellar (HER)
2. Patrick Weircioch (BNG)
3. Christian Hanson (HER)