After an exciting shootout win the night before over the Connecticut Whale, the Hershey Bears would have to face them once more at Giant Center. Tom Poti played in his first career AHL game, and helped the Bears to a stunning 5-0 victory win over the Whale.
Photo credit: Rachel Cohen
It’s probably best not to draw any conclusions about the Hershey Bears after first five games. The Bears have only earned 3 of a potential 10 points in the opening two weeks of the season.
Friday night they lost again on the road, 3-1 to the Connecticut Whale.
Dany Sabourin has been living by the motto “No Rest” these past couple of weeks. Out of the last 13 Bears game Sabourin has started 12 of them. The one he didn’t start, he was backing up Braden Holtby in Washington. After all of the games and travel for Mr. Sabourin, he might need some rest after tonight’s game. It wasn’t a busy game, but one that felt like it was going to go on forever. Connecticut only had 26 shots on the night, but one got through. The one that got through would be the only puck that saw the back of the net as Hershey would lose, 1-0.
After a tough loss in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Bears looked to bounce back against the Connecticut Whale. That was not the case tonight as the Bears could only score one goal tonight, three less than the Whale, who scored four and got the two points in the standings, beating Hershey 4-1.
In an unusual Tuesday night game, the Bears traveled up North to face off against the Connecticut Whale. For Francois Bouchard and Tomas Kundratek, it was the first time they would play their former team.The Bears had a 5-on-3 power play during the first period. The Whale killed off one penalty but Chris Bourque scored shortly afterwards. It was widely advertised that this game would pit the Bourque Brothers against each other with their family in attendance. As Graham Mink called it, it was Bourque Bowl 2011.
Unfortunately, the Whale didn’t take long to tie it up. A 2-on-1 play broke out and Mats Zuccarello beat Braden Holtby. Tie game after twenty minutes.
Break out the Brass Bonanza! The Hershey Bears came to town to play their first game against the Connecticut Whale (though they did play them earlier in the season when they were still the Hartford Wolfpack).
Kyle Greentree scored the first goal of the night with a nice shot from between the face-off circles. New addition, Andrew Kozek (who was playing in his first game as a Bear) had the primary assist to register his first point as a Bear.
The Bears extended their lead during the second period when Connecticut had an iffy line change. Greentree dished a long pass to Brian Willsie who was waiting up ice. Once he got the puck, Willsie raced towards the net, took aim, and scored. 2-0 Bears.
The Whale finally broke the shutout during the third period when Kris Newbury darted through the zone and right up to the net. There wasn’t much Nolan Schaefer could do to stop it. Connecticut couldn’t muster up any more goals and Bears win 2-1!
You know what that means? We finally get to congratulate Coach Mark French on his 100th AHL coaching victory! He is the fastest coach in AHL history to reach the 100 win plateau. We can’t even begin to say how much French has done for the Bears. We know the team is in great hands with him. Now the race begins to 200 wins!
Just a heads up to our readers: we will not be covering the game tomorrow night against the Adirondack Phantoms. Instead, we’ll be in Virginia with our Russian Machine Never Breaks brothers at the RMNB Party 2: Electric Boogaloo. If you’re free, head down to Arlington and have fun while donating money to the Brian St. Louis Family Fund.
Hershey chalks up a win the last game they will ever play against the Hartford Wolf Pack before they become the Connecticut Whale.
With Hershey controlling the tempo of this game, it was another game where Semyon Varlamov did not see a lot of shots. He stopped 19 of 22 and at least one of those goals there was really nothing he could do. He looked more comfortable in his crease, even after getting plowed down by Chad Kolarik in the first period.
A strong start to the second period helped push Hershey to an early lead. Mathieu Perreault showed off his speed by breaking up a pass at the blue line before darting off to get an unassisted goal just 17 seconds into the second period. Just over a minute later, Brian Fahey had a bomb of a shot from the right point.
Minutes later, Fahey and Sean Collins took two quick penalties and suddenly the Wolf Pack had their first goal. However, the Bears remained calm and Perreault picked up his fourth goal of the season halfway through the period. Brian Willsie would wrap up the period with a power play goal to make 4-1 Hershey after 40 minutes.
After that period, Hershey was done scoring but Hartford wasn’t. They scored two more goals halfway through the third period before Hershey’s defense could corral them. Willsie’s goal became the game winner as Hershey defeated Hartford 4-3.
So it’s adios Wolf Pack. Hello Whale. We’ll see you in March.