HERSHEY, PA – Mike Green speaks with Dimity Orlov at the Outdoor Classic (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Over five years after playing his last game for the Hershey Bears, Mike Green returned to Chocolate Town to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Outdoor Classic. The Calgary native played 108 games in a Bears sweater, with 40 of them in the playoffs.
The setting was perfect. The weather was flawless as well. The Outdoor Classic weekend kicked off with an Alumni game between the Bears and Penguins at Hersheypark Stadium. The competitive spirit of both teams showed, but the Penguins had a younger average age. and came up with a 9-5 victory.
HERSHEY, PA – Two of the three co-coaches, Ralph Keller (center) and Willie Marshall speak to Doug Yingst at the Hershey Bears Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in December (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Earlier this morning, the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced their rosters for the alumni game on January 19th. Headlined by Bears greats Tim Tookey and Mitch Lamoureux, 21 Bears (with four goalies) are scheduled to play in the game. The list also includes former Bears tough guys Louis Robitaille and Dennis Bonvie (who will be playing for Wilkes-Barre.) Bears greats Ralph Keller, Willie Marshall and Mike Nykoluk will serve as co-coaches for the game.
Jay Beagle takes a faceoff against Tim Sestito. Photo by the Albany Devils.
As the players have often noted, it’s important to start a game strong. That’s just what the Bears did against the Albany Devils. Despite only leading by one goal after twenty minutes, Hershey was in control. The first period was characterized by a offensive effort that left Dany Sabourin mostly twiddling his thumbs on the other side of the ice. It was just the icing on the cake that Andrew Joudrey scored his fourth goal of the season on a rebound shot.
The Bears started the second period down a man. Patrick Wellar was in the box for holding but that didn’t stop Hershey. Jay Beagle led the effort to score a breakaway short-handed goal just thirty seconds into the second period. That’s Beagle’s sixth goal of the season and his third short-handed goal. Clutch. But wait! We’re not through! Steve Pinizzotto decides to try that play himself and scores a second short-handed breakaway goal only 25 seconds after Beagle. 3-0 Bears.
It looked like Hershey had this game in the bag. The Devils sit at the bottom of the league in power play goals. Even allowing two short-handed goals, you wouldn’t think it tonight. Hershey allowed the Devils to score two power play goals, putting them in prime position for a comeback. And that’s how the Bears found themselves needing to shut down the Devils for the third period.
Thankfully, the Bears clung to their lead and Pinizzotto was rewarded with the game-winning goal. He now has the game winner for both games against Albany. Bears win 3-2 and remain undefeated against Albany this season.