The Hershey Bears looked to close out a strong weekend with back to back home wins against the Binghamton Senators and the Norfolk Admirals. A night after a hard fought win against the division leading Senators, the Bears rallied for three goals in the third period, but fell in the shootout, 4-3 to Norfolk.
Norfolk entered play on Sunday win-less in their last seven consecutive road games. The Admirals’ most recent road victory came back on December 29, 2012 in Wilkes-Barre.
The Admirals tallied the lone goal of the period with 5:46 left on the clock. Patrick Maroon redirected a shot from the point into the cage to give his team the early cushion. The Bears out shot the Ads 12-7 in the stanza and possessed several good offensive looks on net.
The roller coaster ride for Hershey Bears’ fans continued into the second period as good periods were continued to be followed up by horrible periods. Hershey looked flat offensively and failed to generate any more grade “A” chances on the Norfolk net-minder. The only shots that were fired on Igor Bobkov came from the perimeter, and were easily handled.
A careless turnover by Cameron Schilling at his defensive blue line leaded directly to the Admirals’ second goal 8:32 into the period. Right off the turnover, Peter Holland blasted a snap shot past a beaten Dany Sabourin.
Only 2:38 before a much needed intermission, Norfolk tallied a third goal to jump to a 3-0 advantage. After several failed clear attempts to exit the defensive zone, Dan Sexton scored his third goal of the season.
Following a decent opening period, Hershey looked flat in the second frame to say the very least. You know it’s a bad night when the Giant Center faithful gives a loud, sarcastic cheer after the “one minute remaining in the period” call is announced by the Public Address Announcer. However, Hershey responded in the third period with a glorious attempt at a comeback win.
The Bears showed early signs in the third period of a possible comeback. Only 1:42 into the third, Barry Almeida broke Bobkov’s early bid for a clean sheet with a wrist shot past his glove side.
With 9:25 left in regulation, after an unbelievable cross-ice pass by Casey Wellman, Ryan Potulny sent a snap shot into the net to suddenly cut the Admirals’ lead to one.
All season the Bears were yet to tally a game tying goal in the final minute, with the net empty and extra attacker on the ice. Ryan Potulny scored his second of the night with 35 seconds left to send Giant Center into a frenzy, and the game into overtime. It was the last minute, clutch goal the fans have been begging for the entire season.
The timely tally sent the game heroically to overtime, extending Hershey’s point streak to six consecutive games. Unfortunately for the Bears, Norfolk scored three out of five attempts in the skills competition, and defeated Hershey 4-3 in a shootout.