Within the last five seasons, the Hershey Bears have beaten the Worcester Sharks only once in five attempts on Giant Center ice. Both teams met Saturday in Chocolate Town for the first time this season. On Joel Rechlicz bobble-fist night, Rechlicz did not engage in an altercation, but rather took a crucial first period charging minor leading to Worcester’s second goal of the game. The Bears later fell by a 3-2 count/
Worcester jumped out to a first period 2-0 lead to carry into the dressing room. A wrap around as quick as lightning by Freddie Hamilton at the 15:16 mark gave the Sharks the lead. Then 1:43 later, the Sharks quickly tacked on a second goal following a Joel Rechlicz charging penalty. Matt Tennyson finished a bang-bang play at the net-front, leaving David Leggio with little chance for a save.
Hershey fanned on two second period odd-man rushes but still managed to find pay-dirt once in the frame. Julien Brouillette on a 5-on-3 power play advantage let a wrist shot fly to the top-shelf to cut Worcester’s lead in half.
But the Bears’ offense was held in check during the crucial third period. Hamilton added his second goal of the night for the Sharks on the 5-on-3 power play. Hamilton jammed a loose puck past David Leggio, after a near heroic sequence where he made a handful of great desperation saves.
Hamilton’s second tally proved to be the game winner, as for a second time in the contest, Hershey pulled within one goal. Nicolas Deschamps raised hopes of a comeback with his seventh goal of the campaign with 4:11 left on the clock. Despite having Leggio on the bench and a power play for the final 18 seconds of regulation, Hershey’s power play couldn’t produce a clutch, game-tying goal.
Worcester won the game by a 3-2 margin, but thankfully we didn’t have to sit through another overtime and ten round shootout extravaganza. Both teams will rematch the next day at the same location, but hopefully with a different end result.