With the countdown to the 2013 Outdoor Classic winding down rapidly, the Hershey Bears had one final contest at Giant Center before the big matinee scheduled for Sunday. The Bears battled the Lake Erie Monsters for the first time this season. Jonathon Kalinski was given a third period five minute major penalty and an early shower, leading to a 3-2 Monsters win.
Boyd Kane entered Friday with 199 career points with the Hershey Bears. Only 12:39 into the contest against Lake Erie, a power play goal gave him the 200 point milestone. On the man-advantage, Kane sent a bank-shot from a sharp angle that found its way into the net for an early 1-0 Hershey lead.
It might of been the shortest lead all season, as only 15 seconds later the Monsters exploited a hole in the Bears’ defense. Bill Thomas entered the zone on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush and finished a quick cross-ice pass to knot the game at 1-1. Shots after 20 minutes were a commanding 9-3 lead for the Chocolate and White.
During the middle period Hershey began struggling with connecting passes in the offensive end. Many stretched, breakout passes through the neutral zone were beginning to be intercepted and broken up. After Lake Erie was whistled for the game’s first four minors, Hershey would be penalized three consecutive times during the frame.
For over a minute during the 12 minute mark of the frame, the Monsters possessed a 5-on-3 chance against the Bears. Seconds after the two-man advantage expired, the Monsters cashed in off a backdoor pass. Andrew Agozzino tallied on a crisp feed coming from the high-slot via teammate Mike Sgarbossa. Philipp Grubauer was slow getting across to defend the left side of his crease, as the Bears’ bench argued for a goalie interference infraction against Lake Erie. The goal was granted, and it was 2-1 Lake Erie after 40 minutes at Giant Center.
Into the final period, the Bears shortened any chance they had of winning by taking a countless number of penalties in the opening minutes. Jeff Taffe was called for a high-stick at the 1:43 mark, beginning the penalty box parade for Hershey. Seconds later, Jonathan Kalinski was handed a five minute major elbow infraction, which gave the Monsters a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage.
Mike Sgarbossa for the Monsters tallied his third point of the game on the two-man advantage to take the wind out of Hershey’s sails only 2:32 into the third frame. Following the goal, Kane was handed an unsportsmanlike penalty to give Lake Erie a full two minute 5-on-3 advantage. Heroically, the Bears’ penalty kill unit killed off the long Lake Erie power play to keep the game within reach.
Jeff Taffe tallied a power play goal to cut it to 3-2 Lake Erie with over a minute remaining.
Discouraged after an onslaught of penalties, the Bears were unable to rebound and fell to the Lake Erie Monsters by a final score of 3-2.