Boardwalk Hall before today’s game (Photo via @ScottStuccio)
Sunday afternoon the Hershey Bears traveled to Atlantic City to face the Albany Devils at the historic Boardwalk Hall. A night after his 40 save shutout spectacle, Philipp Grubauer received his second straight start in goal. Defensive turnovers and let downs in front of Grubauer led to a 6-4 loss on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Into the opening period on the Boardwalk, speed was the name of the game for the Albany Devils, and they used that speed to jump out to a 2-0 lead going into intermission. Five seconds shy of the halfway mark of the stanza, Mike Hoeffel snapped a high wrist shot over the glove hand of Grubauer to give his team the early advantage.
Minutes later Matt Pope nearly capitalized for the Bears when Devils’ goaltender Keith Kinkaid wandered out of position to play a loose puck. Albany quickly countered and Joe Whitney scored off a point-blank feed from Phil DeSimone in front of Grubauer to give his team a two goal advantage.
The Devils dominated the opening minutes with a furious forecheck, and whenever the Bears looked to be turning the tide, Albany quickly countered with a chance on net of their own.
Out of the dressing room, only nine seconds into the second period Albany again hit pay-dirt on Grubuaer. Right off the face off at center ice, Mike Sislo busted down the right wing and placed a shot into the net to open a 3-0 lead.
However before the period could hit the one minute mark, veteran Ryan Potulny quickly broke Hershey’s goose egg on the scoreboard with a power play tally. Following a Matt Anderson hooking minor 42 seconds into the frame, Potulny quickly capitalized after a perfect slap pass by Jon DiSalvatore.
4:50 later, Casey Wellman tallied for the Bears to suddenly cut the Devils’ lead down to a slim one-goal margin. The Bears appeared to be doing a better job in the period containing Albany’s speed when transitioning.
But with 2:37 left in the middle period, Steve Oleksy batted the puck with his glove out of play for a delay of game infraction. The penalty proved costly as off a tic-tac-toe passing play, Joe Whitney scored his second of the night on the backdoor to give the Devils a 4-2 lead going into intermission.
Both teams traded two goals in the third period and the Bears fell by a 6-4 final in Atlantic City. Sislo for Albany scored his second of the night only 3:35 into the frame to make it a 5-2 game. His strike turned out to be the game-winning-goal. Exactly a minute later Casey Wellman tallied his second of the night to again cut Albany’s lead to two.
Hershey showed signs of a possible comeback with 12:36 left in regulation when Ryan Stoa scored a power play goal off a tip in front of Keith Kinkaid.
But Matt Anderson for the Devils scored the tenth goal of the game between the two sides to give his team a 6-4 win over the Bears on Sunday.