Redemption. It is one of the sweetest feelings in life from both a personal perspective and a team perspective. After a disappointing Super Bowl Sunday loss to their I-81 Rivals, the Hershey Bears redeemed themselves with a road 3-2 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters.
With the countdown to the 2013 Outdoor Classic winding down rapidly, the Hershey Bears had one final contest at Giant Center before the big matinee scheduled for Sunday. The Bears battled the Lake Erie Monsters for the first time this season. Jonathon Kalinski was given a third period five minute major penalty and an early shower, leading to a 3-2 Monsters win.
In the final game of this road stretch, the Bears had to take on the Lake Erie Monsters. After the excitement of their last meeting, it was easy to get excited for this game.
For the third game in a row, the Bears were the first team on the board. Julien Brouillette passed to Ryan Potulny, who one-timed the puck past Cedrick Desjardins. The Monsters weren’t too happy about this goal because Andrew Carroll fell into Desjardins during the play. But the goal counted and remained the only goal of the period.
How do you start a recap after a game like this? After 76 penalty minutes, 9 goals, many mini line brawls, and a goal that you could argue should not have counted, the Lake Erie Monsters came out on top, 5-4, over the Hershey Bears.
The Bears were in control of this game for approximately five minutes before the Lake Erie Monsters took over.
It started with a strange penalty against Maxime Lacroix (my personal favorite penalty: “closing hand on puck”). The Bears were running their usual penalty kill when the Monsters got through them and scored the first goal. And then a second goal 18 seconds later. And then a third goal 22 seconds after that. Three goals before Hershey had time to even get one shot on goal.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that Todd Ford was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots. It was up to Jared DeMichel, who had just arrived in town after being called up this morning. During the shootout last night, Braden Holtby tweaked something. He finished that game but is now listed as week-to-week. It’s like we’ve gone back in time.
The first period was completely bleak. Boyd Kane, in the clutch way that only Kane can, refused to go down without a fight and scored on former bear, Jason Bacashihua.
During the second period, the Bears were able to mostly hold the Monsters back, but unfortunately Lake Erie did find the score sheet once again. The game might as well have been only two periods long. The third was the epitome of quiet. No scoring, no penalties, no fun. Some flashes of offense, a hit or two, but really nothing to write home about. We really only needed the first period to decide this one. Bears lose 4-1.
It was good showing for DeMichiel though. He was ready to step up for a game that he wasn’t meant to play. Without him, the Bears may not have been able to close the floodgates and keep Lake Erie from running away with this game.
A sold-out crowd gathered in Giant Center tonight to watch the Bears take on the Lake Erie Monsters. It was the only time we will see the Monsters in Hershey this season.
The game started off perfectly. Hershey scored the first goal early in the first period, as they often do. Lake Erie had two men in the box and Hershey had a 5-on-3 power play for thirty seconds. After getting roughed up, Keith Aucoin made the Monsters pay by scoring on the man advantage.
A few minutes into the second period, Ashton Rome recorded his sixth goal of the season. Tyler Sloan had a nice role in the play, joining the rush as a winger. Along with Maxime Lacroix, they got the puck to the goal. John Grahame made the initial save but Rome buried the rebound.
Perhaps getting a little too comfortable, the scoring ended there for Hershey. Meanwhile, Lake Erie started to kick it in gear. They cut Hershey’s lead in half before the end of the second period. Holtby couldn’t see the rebound and Lake Erie got their first goal of the night. With about a minute to go in the game, Lake Erie pulled their goalie. With an extra man, the Monsters got a lot of traffic in front of the Hershey goal and tied it up with just 40 seconds left in the game.
Overtime didn’t solve anything and so it went to the shootout. Unfortunately, the Monsters scored twice and Hershey could only score once.
Despite the loss, Braden Holtby was fantastic in net. It would have been a whole different game without him. He was there to make all the huge saves that the Bears needed him to make. I’m sure a shootout was not how the Bears wanted to end this game, especially with an early game in Binghamton tomorrow. Nevertheless, the Bears watch the game slip through their fingers and lose 3-2.