Special Teams Woes Hands Hershey 4-2 Defeat

On December 7, 2013, in Game Recap, by Matt Trust

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Consecutive hockey games on the weekend continue to haunt the Hershey Bears, and the losing ways continued on Saturday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. A night after David Leggio back stopped his team to a 4-2 win, his teammates went an embarrassing 1-for-9 on the power play leading to a 4-2 loss.

Very rarely are teams handed the opportunity to bury the opposition in the opening 15 minute of the game, but against the Sound Tigers, the Chocolate and White were faced the opportunity. Lone referee Tim Mayer handed Bridgeport an astonishing six minor penalties in the game’s opening 12:53.

The Bears capitalized on their second power play chance of the night after David Kolomatis became the second Hershey defenseman to score in as many nights. He ripped on shot from the left face off circle which beat Kenny Reiter low to the ice while moving side-to-side.

After Hershey’s streak of six consecutive power plays came to a halt, the Tigers put the Bears’ penalty kill unit to the test. Bridgeport was tagged with a 5-on-3 chance in the final minute of the opening period leading to Jon Sim’s second goal of the campaign. Ryan Strome exposed a passing lane behind Leggio, through the blue paint to Sim, for an easy tap into an open net.

Due to annual Teddy Bear Toss night festivities, the goal put an early end to the first period, and the 20 seconds left on the clock would be added to the next stanza.

Bridgeport eventually added two more power play goals on just three second period chances to open a 3-1 deficit. Anders Lee tallied both goals from in tight within a span of 6:24.

Hershey was held to only five shots on goal in the third period and continued to turn the puck over in all areas of the ice. Turnovers varied from blind passes into the middle, stretch passes that were off target, and the inability to hold the puck in the offensive zone at the blue line.

It doesn’t take a hockey coach to know that it’s tough to mount a third period comeback when all you can do is throw five shots on goal.

With 3:39 left, Jamie Johnson showed hope for his club by tallying his first of the season against his former team. However despite being granted a ninth power play in the final minutes and an extra attacker, Bridgeport added an empty net goal at the final horn to escape with a 4-2 win.

  • Adam

    So what’s the problem? Coaching? Players? Both? Hershey almost ALWAYS wins. Why are they so horrible this year? I’m a fairly new hockey fan, but from my observations they seem to lack speed, and aggression. I’ve been to several home games (5 or so) and they always seem to be slower than the other team, and play “floaty defense” meaning that they don’t push to the goal, but instead, sort of “hang back” and wait for something to happen, or a chance to arise.

    Could someone here analyze what is wrong with this team? Do you see ANY hope? What would you suggest for improvement? Do you think we will have to bear through an entire season of this kind of play?