Photo courtesy @washcaps
It may not be Summer time, but Wednesday the Hershey Bears traveled south near Virginia Beach to face the Norfolk Admirals. Since hoisting Calder last June for the first time in franchise history, the Admirals have started the season with a 7-10-0-0 record. Four different Bears scored en route to a 5-2 win over the defending Calder Cup Champions. Braden Holtby stonewalled 24 of 26 Admiral shots to record his sixth victory of the season.
Following an event-less opening 19 minutes at the Norfolk Scope, the Bears’ third line would cash in for the first goal of the game. After a great effort to keep the puck in the offensive zone by Mathieu Beaudoin, T.J. Syner slam dunked his second goal of the season with 54.7 seconds left in the opening period.
On an even higher note, Hershey exited the ice after 20 minutes with a 13-7 shot advantage over Norfolk.
Into the middle period, Jon DiSalvatore and Patrick McNeill tallied goals for the Bears, and Kyle Palmieri scored his seventh goal of the season for the Admirals. After 40 minutes the Bears led the Admirals 3-1, an 25-14 in shots.
Despite controlling the opening minutes of the third frame, the Admirals would not go down without a fight. With 13:12 left in regulation, John Mitchell for Norfolk tipped a shot from the side of that goal that beat Braden Holtby to his short side.
But with 3:27 to go, Hershey was able to find that much needed insurance goal that took the wind out of Norfolk’s sails. Garrett Mitchell finished a beautiful one-timer after a crisp pass from Boyd Kane.
Following four minutes on the penalty kill, Mitchell’s tally, plus a DiSalvatore empty net goal with 22 seconds left was just what the doctor ordered, as the Hershey Bears cruised to a 5-2 win.