The Albany Devils have possessed Philipp Grubauer’s number all season long, and the frustrating trend continued Friday night. On February 24, the Devils hosted the Hershey Bears in the former home of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in Atlantic City. The Devils buzzed Grubauer and yielded six goals en route to a 6-4 defeat on the boardwalk.
Over a month later, Times Union Center in Albany hosted the final Bears-Devils match up of the 2012-13 campaign. Grubauer left the game after surrendering three goals on seven shots, leading to an Albany 5-3 win.
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.
On December 29, 1973, the Hershey Bears set a franchise record with 63 shots in a single game en route to an 11-2 win. Thirty nine years later, it was quite the opposite story when the Bears took on the Albany Devils at Giant Center. Rather than an 11-2 blowout, Albany battled their way to a 3-2 win in Hershey.
After dropping three straight games including their first two games at Giant Center, the Hershey Bears looked for redemption against the Albany Devils. With Braden Holtby back in between the pipes for the first time since game one, he earns his first shut out of the season in a 3-0 Hershey victory.
Chris Bourque, seen here at practice, got his 80th and 81st points on the season in this afternoon’s game against Albany (Kyle Mace, 2011)
In a rematch from last night, the Albany Devils and Hershey Bears faced off for two important points. Hershey trying to cut their magic number down to 14, Albany trying to get that final, eight playoff spot. Hershey would get those two points and the win over Albany, 4-1.
Another holiday, another specialty jersey design. Donning white and green St. Patrick’s Day jerseys, the Bears took to the ice for the first of back-to-back games against the Albany Devils.
For the second night in a row, Tomas Kundratek potted the first goal of the night. His shot may have taken a bounce as it eluded Albany goaltender, Keith Kinkaid. It was the only goal of the period.
The Hershey Bears lost their fourth straight game on Saturday night. Sort of. In the hockey world of losses, there are also overtime losses and shootout losses. Those losses aren’t as bad as a regulation loss. Saturday night’s 6-5 shootout loss to the Albany Devils gave Hershey a point in the tight AHL Eastern division. It was Hershey’s fourth straight defeat, but only one of those losses was a regulation loss.
Tonight began the first three games in three days of the season for the Bears. Stage one: take on the Albany Devils on the road.
For the first time this season, the Bears gave up the first goal of the game. Steve Zalewski scored on a breakaway. Patrick Wellar tried to catch up to him but couldn’t make it in time. Braden Holtby tried his best to stand Zalewski up but the shot went high and into the net.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the Bears to counter with a goal of their own. Keith Aucoin took an Albany turnover and set up Matt Ford, who was all alone in front of the goal. Tie game.
If the Bears can continue to dominate on the man advantage, opponents should be afraid. It’s no secret that Chris Bourque has the magic touch for the power play. Tonight, he put a shot on goal during Hershey’s first power play. That shot took a funny bounce off of Cody Eakin and Jeff Frazee had no chance of stopping it. 2-1 after twenty minutes.
We said earlier that the organization was one goalie injury away from having a serious problem on our hands. In front of a sold out crowd tonight against the Albany Devils, Jared DeMichiel showed that don’t need to completely panic. He was a little shaky at first and gave up a goal when he couldn’t get control of the puck. But after that, he settled down and stood up for some great saves, including a jaw-dropping one on Darcy Zajac in the third period. By the end, he stopped 27 of 30 shots.
After allowing the Devils the early lead, Boyd Kane countered with a goal of his own, bouncing the puck past Mike McKenna. Later on the 5-on-3 power play, the Bears took their first lead of the night on a goal from Francois Bouchard.
Steve Pinizzotto scored to start the second period, also on the power play. The Devils didn’t respond until the waning moments of the second period but they still stood a goal behind.
Kane scored again in the third period. His second goal would prove to be the game-winner as the Devils scored with 18.4 seconds left. Can we talk about Boyd Kane for a second? We all know that Kane is a clutch player, but as of late he has really stepped his game up even more. He’s been racking up the points and some confidence.
The story of the night for many people was the AHL debut of Dmitri Orlov. I think all around, people were impressed. Troy Mann did a great job coaching Orlov. He was doing a great job of keeping up with his teammates and definitely didn’t look like he was new to the team. He even recorded his first AHL point tonight with a secondary assist on Pinizzotto’s power play goal. He was on ice for both of Hershey’s power play goals and none of Albany’s goals. He also finished the game with three shots on goal. I think it’s safe to say that Hershey fans are happy to add this Russian to the team.
The other story of the night is Joel Rechlicz. I said it on Twitter during the game but I need to repeat it: it’s absolutely mind-blowing how long Rechlicz can fight before he tires out. I’ve never seen a player consistently have fights that last over a minute all while throwing some great punches. Tonight, he was speared in the ribs by Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (yes, him again) and they fought, of cour se. All while using only his left arm, Rechlicz took down Leblond and was even yelling at him for more. What a champ.
And that wraps up yet another exciting game against the Devils. Bears win 4-3. Goalie carousel be damned.
Okay, first off: nobody panic. Just because Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin are out with knee injuries does not mean we need to panic (more on that to come).
Tonight’s game against the Albany Devils was already circled on our calendars. Instead of being played in Albany, the game took place in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall, home of the now-defunct Boardwalk Bullies. But with the added obstacle of being backstopped by two ECHL goalies, this game got a whole lot more interesting.
The Bears stumbled a bit right out the gate when Albany took the early lead. However, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was called for a roughing penalty late in the period and Andrew Gordon made him pay. He tied it up right off the draw for the ensuing power play. Tie game after one.
Continuing to exchange back-and-forth goals, the Devils regained their lead when they scored on a rebound shot. Thankfully, Hershey’s power play was there to tie it up once again, this time with a shot from Francois Bouchard. It would be Brian Willsie‘s 20th goal of the season that gave the Bears their first lead of the game going into the final period.
Just like the first period, the Devils got the early goal in third. But Willsie didn’t take too kindly to this and countered with his second goal of the night on the (you guessed it) power play! Able to hold down their lead, the Bears wrapped it up with an empty net goal courtesy of Boyd Kane. Bears win 5-3.
Todd Ford wasn’t called on to make too many saves but he was pretty solid, especially against some monster shots, including a breakaway attempt. Thanks in part to him, the Bears extend their winning streak to seven straight games. Like I said, don’t panic.