Pesonen’s Late Strike Leads Albany Over Hershey

On December 30, 2012, in Game Recap, by Matt Trust

HERSHEY, PA – Harri Pesonen scores the game winning goal for Albany during their 3-2 win over Hershey (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)

On December 29, 1973, the Hershey Bears set a franchise record with 63 shots in a single game en route to an 11-2 win. Thirty nine years later, it was quite the opposite story when the Bears took on the Albany Devils at Giant Center. Rather than an 11-2 blowout, Albany battled their way to a 3-2 win in Hershey.

The Bears once again struck early for their third consecutive game. Eight minutes in, Jon DiSalvatore won a 1-on-1 offensive rush battle and raced towards the net with a short breakaway. Before he could pull the trigger for a shot the puck rolled off his stick. However seconds later, Garrett Mitchell fed a wide open DiSalvatore from the corner, who launched a one-timer into the cage to give Hershey a 1-0 lead.

It was the lone tally of the period for either side, as the Devils led in shots 12-10 after 20 minutes.

It took 32:18, but the Devils found the equalizer in the middle period on Braden Holtby. Tom Sestito tipped a snap shot from the point by Eric Gelinas to knot the game at 1-1. Both teams took a 1-1 tie into the dressing room after 40 minutes of hard hitting, back-and-forth hockey.

Both teams traded early goals in the opening minutes of the final stanza. First, Bobby Butler for the Devils avoided a holding call and walked the goal line on Holtby. He stuffed a shot short-side, to the roof of the net to give Albany a brief lead at the 2:53 mark. The lead was short live, as 45 seconds later Zach Hamill tallied his 10th goal of the campaign to quickly tie the game at 2-2.

Keith Kinkaid came out to play the angle on Alex Berry, who then dished the puck off to Zach Hamill to deposit it into a wide-open net.

But with 8:02 left in regulation, Albany again jumped in front to take a late lead. Harri Pesonen tallied on the rebound of a Bobby Butler  lazer to give the Devils their second lead of the night. It proved to be the game-winner as Albany cruised to a close 3-2 win at Giant Center.

More photos from tonight’s game:

Jon DiSalvatore celebrates his goal in the first period

The Devils end Holtby’s shutout streak

Cameron Schilling and Braden Holtby look on after the Devils took their first lead of the game

Zach Hamill looks at the crowd after scoring his goal in the third

The Devils celebrate Pesonen’s goal

  • Andy Wallace

    Hey I just had a quick question, do you know if they still sent out the photos for the Movember donation? I donated 25 dollars to the Bears but I never got a picture. Thanks a lot and I love your blog!