Hershey Falls Short Despite Third Period Onslaught

On December 8, 2012, in Game Recap, by Matt Trust

HERSHEY, PA – Ryan Potulny scores in the second period during a loss against Hamilton (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)

The Hershey Bears attempted a three games in three nights sweep for the first time this season against the Western Conference Hamilton Bulldogs. The Bears, down a goal in the third period dominated play in the offensive zone, threatening to tie the game at three. Hamilton goaltender Cedrick Desjardins halted Hershey, denying them of a heroic third goal, and defeated the Bears by a score of 3-2.

Similar to the night before in Wilkes-Barre, the Chocolate and White scored first and early against the opposition. Ryan Potulny, while being hit off a loose puck in the low-slot, muscled a shot past Desjardins to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. That tally at the 5:48 mark, broke a 0-for-19 drought on the power play. Hershey carried that 1-0 lead into the locker room following the opening period.

Into the middle period both teams traded early goals, including Hamilton’s third power play goal on the road this season. Following an Evan Barlow goaltender interference minor, Mike Blunden scored with a short-side shot on Braden Holtby to tie the game 1-1, 1:57 deep into the stanza.

Less than two minutes later, Potulny tallied his second of the night into an open net, following a perfect backdoor pass from Steve Oleksy in the high-slot. However the opportunistic Bulldogs struck again to again tie the game. Patrick Holland with 12:58 remaining in the period snapped a shot over the glove hand of a sprawled out Holtby after an unfortunate blocked shot in front of the net.

Hamilton began to out-shot and out-chance the Bears in the period, as with 2:24 left in the middle period, Joonas Nattinen gave the Dogs their first lead of the night. He jammed a rebound into the net following a center-point shot from Nathan Beaulieu. After 40 minutes Hamilton led Hershey 3-2.

During the final period the Bears outplayed Hamilton by holding them to a low three shots. Ryan Poltuny’s line was a constant threat, as they continued to freely break into the offensive third of the ice to fire chances on goal. Despite heavy pressure on Desjardins, the Bears were held scoreless in the final period, giving Hamilton a 3-2 win over Hershey.

More photos from tonight’s game:

Braden Holtby looks on during a stoppage

Steve Oleksy reaches for the puck in the first period

Matt Clackson and Mike Commodore have a friendly discussion

Potulny and Oleksy celebrate Potulny’s goal

Well, this is not a happy photo