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.
After a highlight reel goal by Michael Latta in the dying minutes of the second period on Saturday, Hershey looked to be well on their way to their first win of the season at Giant Center. However a third period power surge by the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack held the Bears win-less for another night at home.
Sunday, Head Coach Mike Haviland looked for the 60 minute effort his club has been lacking the last four weeks. Against the opposing Norfolk Admirals, speed and intensity was a style of hockey Hershey played with for 60 minutes, leading to a 4-2 win over the Admirals.
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.
Professional hockey games consist of a 60 minute regulation length. Some duels can be loss from the get-go, while other matches are decided by late game heroics. The Hershey Bears in dire need of a victory faced the Manchester Monarchs in New Hampshire. The New England states continue to deny the Bears of fortune in a 4-3 loss to the Monarchs.
The game was decided early with a crucial, first period scoring assembly which included three Manchester goals in a 1:49 span.
The Hershey Bears entered Saturday with only one win out of four attempts this season against the Binghamton Senators. Philipp Grubauer faced the Senators in his first career AHL game back on October 21, and fell 2-1 in overtime. Looking for his first career win against the Senators, Grubauer yielded three, but topped Bingo 4-3.
December 19 marks such an important day for hockey fans not only across Central PA, but across the nation. December 19 marked the 76th birthday of Hershey Park Arena, as well as the anniversary of the birth of the National Hockey League. On December 19, 1917, four teams played the first ever NHL games. But on December 19, 2012, seven members were inducted into the new Hershey Bears Hall of Fame prior to a 4-0 shutout win over the Norfolk Admirals.
Entering into Friday, the Binghamton Senators carried in a 2-0 season record. Although it is only week two, the B-Sens find themselves in a position they haven’t been in often the past three seasons, despite winning Calder in 2011: Top of the East Division Standings. Dany Sabourin and the Hershey Bears entered the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena for the first time this season, looking to spoil the party.
Down one game, the Bears had a chance to tie up the series before returning home.
…unfortunately it didn’t go quite as planned. I won’t upset you with the details, but the Bears left the first period down four goals. Between deflections, rebounds, and just plain getting out-worked, the Penguins owned Dany Sabourin and the first period and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Tuesday night at the Harrisburg Senators game, Bears players Julien Brouillette, Andrew Carroll, Tomas Kundratek, and Garrett Mitchell participated in a dizzy bat race. If you have never seen a dizzy bat race, it is where you set a bat on the ground, spin around it 10 times, and then run to a finish line.
Many guys were at the Senators game, including Chris Bourque, who threw out the first pitch to teammate Boyd Kane.
Photos from the guy’s Twitter’s below the jump
After a rough night against St. John’s the night before, the Bears looked to bounce back and show they were just playing an April Fools joke a day early. That didn’t seem like the case at the start of the game. With Binghamton scoring within the first minute of each period, the Bears would be down three goals at some points. It sure looked like a loss, but Hershey being Hershey they scored three goals in the third period to get the one point. That would be the only point they would get as Bingo grabbed the other point as they beat Hershey in a shootout, 6-5.