In minor league hockey, what exactly are the factors needed to create a classic? Obviously good officiating is always appreciated at the American Hockey League level, leading to a fast paced, open, end-to-end hockey game. But in addition, how about a great atmosphere inside arena? Or even a game that may decide a team’s future postseason fate?
All those factors came into play and meshed perfectly on Sunday evening, which built-ed towards a 1-0 overtime win over the Binghamton Senators.
Nate Schmidt, seen here earlier in the season, scored his first goal since opening night with Hershey on Friday night against Binghamton during the Bears’ 5-4 loss to the Senators (Kyle Mace / Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
The Bears face another nearly must win situation tonight, when they face one of the best teams in the league, the Springfield Falcons. Hershey remains in control of the 8th and final playoff spot in the AHL Eastern conference, by just one point, with five games to go.
The Bears will get one of their top players back in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Springfield. Michael Latta will return to Hershey from the Washington Capitals. Latta had recorded seven points in just 12 games with the Bears and is coming off of injury with the Capitals.
Fresh off the Christmas holiday, the Hershey Bears returned to work against the Binghamton Senators on what is traditionally known as “Boxing Day” to our neighboring country to the north. The Senators entered eyeing their 20th home ice win against Hershey in team history and looked to pull into a first place East Division tie with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
David Leggio once again received the starting nod for the Chocolate and White in net. It was Leggio’s 11th start in the last 12 Bears games this season dating back to November 27.
It was a tale of two athletic goaltenders between Leggio for Hershey and Nathan Lawson for Binghamton. Lawson’s miraculous second period after a strong Hershey push lead to the tables turning towards a 4-1 Senators win.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing fights this year from Joel Rechlicz, but Saturday night’s fight might be the front runner for the season. Late in the first period, Michael Latta would drop the mitts with Darren Kramer.
The fight was one of the fastest ones in recent memory, but Latta’s final punch took the cake. The video was so epic that we had to remix it with a Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
After an unsuccessful comeback Friday night, the Chocolate and White tried to bounce back against Binghamton on a snowy night in Hershey. With former 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Michal Neuvirth back between the pipes for the Bears, Hershey was on their a-game, scoring seven goals on 41 shots, winning 7-4 over the Senators.
It wasn’t pretty in the opening seven minutes as the Binghamton Senators jumped to an early 2-0 advantage, but thanks to two key goals by Nicolas Deschamps, the Hershey Bears scored four unanswered goals to down the Sens 4-2.
The Hershey Bears were in search of grade “A” efforts in back to back nights against the Binghamton Senators. After snapping the B-Sens’ seven game winning streak, the Senators responded with a convincing 5-1 win at Giant Center.
There’s no place like home for the holidays. That old song might turn into the theme over the next week for the Hershey Bears. The Bears head into this afternoon’s game against Binghamton on a solid points streak that is slowly moving them out of last place in the AHL East.