On a night when the Chocolate and White punched their ticket to the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs, the players also accepted their awards for their accomplishments in a Bears uniform this season.
HERSHEY, PA – Jon DiSalvatore celebrates his first goal during Hershey’s 4-2 win over Manchester, and clinching them a playoff spot in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
It came all the way down to the wire, but it game 76 of the 2012-13 regular season, the Hershey Bears clinched a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. During first intermission of the Bears-Monarchs game Sunday evening, news broke at Giant Center that the Providence Bruins defeated the Norfolk Admirals by a 4-3 count. The regulation loss eliminated Norfolk from playoff contention leaving just Hershey and Connecticut fighting for the eighth seed.
With the Connecticut Whale wrapping up their season the night before, they could only watch and hope for a Bears regulation loss. However with the final window of opportunity wide open for Hershey, they put forth an impressive 4-2 over the Manchester Monarchs to punch their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
HERSHEY, PA – Tomas Kundratek, seen here at the 2013 Outdoor Classic, scored twice in Hershey’s 4-2 win over Syracuse tonight (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Friday night it was the battle of candy bars north of the Pennsylvania border. The chocolate covered Hershey Bears battled the Crunch of Syracuse. Tomas Kundratek returned to the Hershey lineup for the first time since the Outdoor Classic on January 20, and impacted the match with two goals including the game-winner.
Boyd Kane started the scoring, and Peter LeBlanc tallied a highlight reel insurance marker in the third period to help his team’s charge towards a staggering 4-1 win.
Nine games. That’s all that remains to decide the Hershey Bears playoff fate. Saturday night the Bears pulled off a come from behind victory over one of the best teams in the league, beating the Providence Bruins 3-2 at Giant Center. The victory keeps the Bears in the 8th and final playoff position, just two points ahead of Norfolk.
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.
Saturday night, American Hockey League history was made with Boyd Kane’s 500th career AHL point against the Manchester Monarchs. Kane became the 85th player in league history to reach the milestone. However, the memorable moment was soon spoiled, as Manchester came back to answer Hershey’s early scoring onslaught with a scoring parade of their own. The Monarchs tallied three goals in both the second and third period to down Hershey, 6-4.
It is no lie the Hershey Bears in many instances this season have struggled to put forth a complete game, 100-percent effort against the opposition. However in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Connecticut Whale, effort was no where near a concern for the Chocolate and White.
Eyeing his tenth “W” in his first American Hockey League season, Philipp Grubauer drew the start for the Hershey Bears against the Adirondack Phantoms. In front of another sell out crowd of 10,856 at Giant Center, Grubauer stopped 36 shots as the Bears cruised to a comfortable 5-2 win against the Phantoms.
The Hershey Bears kicked off the month of March with a trip north on I-81 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Bears entered play win-less in their last three consecutive matches against the W-B/S Penguins. Philipp Grubauer, fresh off his National Hockey League debut, looked on from the bench as Dany Sabourin backstopped Hershey to a nail-biting 3-2 win at Mohegan Sun Arena.
When the Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms last met on November 24, 2012, the Bears began heading south in the standings after dropping a 3-1 decision. It was Hershey’s sixth loss in their previous seven games in a slumping month of November.
Since then, the Bears have battled over the .500 mark in the standings and entered Saturday’s action against Adirondack with a chance to win their 25th game of the campaign. Philipp Grubauer stonewalled the Phantoms for his first AHL shutout in a 3-0 win at Giant Center.