With a snow storm approaching the central PA area Sunday night, it couldn’t have been a better time for Hershey’s first 4pm start time to a Sunday Giant Center tilt.
The Hershey Bears closed out their season series with the Charlotte Checkers Sunday in front of 9,942 fans at Giant Center.
On a night where the first 3,000 fans received a baseball cap promotion sponsored by Capital BlueCross, Charlotte’s Zach Boychuk notched a hat-trick in a 6-3 win over Hershey.
“12 Rounds” may be an epic movie starring entertainer John Cena, but in a way the action film’s title describes the annual rivalry between the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Both teams battled in round 12 on Tuesday night to end the 2013-14 regular season portion of the I-81 rivalry. The back and forth game ended in a victory for the Baby Penguins, beating Hershey 6-5.
The Giant Center goal horn was held silent on Saturday night when the Syracuse Crunch blanked the Bears by a 5-0 count. It ended a 12 game Giant Center win streak for the Chocolate and White, but eyes quickly turned towards an opportunity for revenge the next night.
Sunday was the second annual AHL Showcase held at Verizon Center in our nation’s capital. Last year Ryan Potulny was the hero en route to a 2-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals.
This year the Bears-Crunch battled in Washington D.C. only days before resumption of National Hockey League play. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead affiliate potted five more goals on Philipp Grubauer for the second consecutive night and topped Hershey, 5-2.
Saturday night the Hershey Bears leap frogged the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the standings with a high-scoring 5-4 victory. While Giant Center has been an intimidating building for Bears’ opposition of late, Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township does not have a much kinder reputation.
Sunday the Chocolate and White concluded a home-and-home stretch against their I-81 rivals, and escaped victoriously for the first time this season in the W-B. Ryan Potulny scored a third period game-winning goal en route to a 3-1 win over the Penguins, finishing off a perfect six point weekend sweep for Hershey.
Which is of the following is more abnormal– The Hershey Bears wearing Groundhog Day jerseys in their Sunday game against Norfolk, or Groundhog Day combining with Super Bowl Sunday?
Regardless the answer, at an early 2pm start time the Bears faced the Anaheim Ducks’ top affiliate, Norfolk Admirals. Nearly 24 hours after the Adirondack Phantoms snapped Hershey’s overall six game winning streak, the Bears extended their home win streak to nine games in a 3-1 win over the Admirals.
If you were to compare the weekend schedules of the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it’s easy to predict the Bears might have had an edge entering Sunday.
The Chocolate and White kicked off the weekend with a home-and-home series beginning in Syracuse on Friday. Back-to-back wins over the Crunch including a Saturday 3-2 win at Giant Center built towards the hype of Sunday’s contest against Wilkes-Barre.
The Hershey Bears battled the Albany Devils for the second time in as many weeks Sunday night. The Bears entered riding a 5-2-1-0 record in 2014. A win would up-lift Hershey into the eighth seed of the Eastern Conference standings.
The Chocolate and White also entered with a five game winning streak on Giant Center ice.
A two-goal, third period comeback lifted the Bears for the second time this season over Albany by a 4-3 shootout final.
It may not show in the standings just yet, but at the halfway point of the AHL season, the Hershey Bears have developed some valuable momentum. Saturday night at Giant Center, the Bears pulled out a 5-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The victory gave the Bears their fifth win in the last seven games.
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.
The Hershey Bears aimed to close out the weekend with back-to-back wins at home. Their foe for the night was the Manchester Monarchs, who entered standing at second best in the Eastern Conference. It was nothing short of a 60 minute effort for the good guys in White, as the Bears beat down the Monarchs by a 6-3 count.