The historic Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall hosted the first meeting of the 2013-14 season between the Albany Devils and Hershey Bears. Brandon Segal continued to dismantle opponents on the scoring sheet, Michael Latta channeled his inner Joel Rechlicz and Riley Gill earned his first AHL win during a 4-1 Bears win.
Previous to Sunday, in two out of the five games in 2014, Hershey’s power play unit hit pay-dirt multiple times. A three power play goal night on January 4 was followed by three more goals on the man-advantage the next day. The specialty teams themed month continued at the Boardwalk with two more power play strikes.
Brandon Segal opened the scoring with 5:18 remaining in the opening 20 minutes on the power play. He finished a one-timer after a quick feed of the stick of Ryan Stoa.
Chocolate Town possessed a slim 10-9 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead into first intermission after an evenly matched stanza.
The eventual game-winner would only have to wait until the 1:09 mark of the second period. Peter LeBlanc sent a cross-ice pass to Casey Wellman for a slam-dunk into the net for a 2-0 Bears lead. The dynamic duo of LeBlanc and Wellman have now combined for 18 goals on the campaign.
Hershey received their break of the night minutes later when Michael Latta engaged in a fight after a high, neutral zone hit. Rather than an Albany power play, even strength play continued as David Wohlberg received an instigating minor.
With 7:54 left in the second frame, the Devils broke through of Riley Gill for the first and last time of the night. After a shot whistled wide, a lively bounce off the back-boards lead to a Artem Demkov blast past an out-stretched Gill.
The Bears responded twice more before the period would close to round out a 4-1 final. Jeff Taffe scored on a dominating Bears power play after more than a minute of zone time.
Lastly with 3:56 left in the period, Dustin Gazley scored his second goal in as many nights to round out the scoring. Hershey finished the game 2-for-4 on the man-advantage in front of 2,734 fans at the Boardwalk Hall, many in which were representing the Chocolate and White.
The Bears finish the weekend grabbing four points out of a potential six and reach an even 40 points total in the standings.