After 496 professional regular season games played in North America, Ryan Potulny will leave the continent and continue his hockey career in Russia.
HERSHEY, PA – Carter Camper (center) and former Hershey Bear Chris Bourque celebrate Camper’s game winning goal against Hershey in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Sunday evening the Hershey Bears battled in what could of been there final game at Giant Center this postseason. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, Bruins’ Carter Camper completed a hat-trick by scoring with 1:04 left in regulation to down Hershey, 5-4.
The Hershey Bears entered Binghamton on Saturday with an opportunity to clinch playoff berth with a win and out of town help. The out of town assistance was provided, but the Bears fell short in a 4-2 decision against the B-Sens. Out of town, both the Norfolk Admirals and Connecticut Whale lost in regulation to open the door for Hershey.
An hour south of Binghamton, the Manchester Monarchs won their battle against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to clinch the Eastern Conference’s seventh playoff position.
There is currently a three-way tie in points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tied with 79 points each are the Connecticut Whale, Norfolk Admirals and Hershey Bears. The Whale rapped up their regular season with a 5-1 loss to the Portland Pirates. Both the Bears and Admirals have one game remaining and will finish the season Sunday.
With only one spot remaining and the regular season concluding Sunday evening, here are the playoff scenarios:
- Hershey clinches playoff spot with regulation/overtime/shootout win despite a Norfolk win in regulation/overtime/shootout or loss.
- Norfolk clinches postseason berth with regulation/overtime/shootout win AND Hershey regulation/overtime/shootout loss. They can also clinch with a overtime/shootout loss AND Hershey regulation loss.
- Connecticut reaches the postseason with Hershey regulation loss AND Norfolk regulation loss. The only way the Whale can reach the postseason is if the season ends with a three-way tie still intact.
It’s the home stretch of the 2012-13 regular season and the Hershey Bears entered Friday on the outside looking into the playoff picture. With the Norfolk Admirals, Connecticut Whale and Manchester Monarchs also in action, a pair of out of town losses combined with a Bears win could up rise Hershey back into playoff potential.
With a Connecticut 3-2 loss later followed by a Norfolk 6-1 road defeat, a bright light of opportunity shined on Hershey to make a rising dash in the standings. Rather than melting under the pressure of a must-win game, NHL Trade Deadline addition Michael Latta scored a late-game third period goal to give the Bears a 2-1 win over the Adirondack Phantoms.
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.
HERSHEY, PA – Former Bear Graham Mink, seen here playing against Hershey earlier in the season, score a goal during Providence’s win over the Chocolate and White (Tim Stough – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
With the Hershey Bears locked in a tight battle for the playoffs, the Chocolate and White headed up the coast for a trio up big games. It started with a Friday night bout with the Providence Bruins, Hershey’s likely first round opponent — at least as things stand now.
It got off to an awful start for the Bears at “The Dunk.” The Bruins outshot the Bears 7-0 in the opening minutes, looking as if goaltender Philipp Grubauer was the only one who bothered to get on the bus to New England. The Bears, however, started to show some life in the latter half of the frame — helped in part to a pair of Bruins penalties — but no one was able to hit the back of the net. Continue reading
The Hershey Bears traveled up I-81 for the final time during the regular season for round 12 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Looking for their eighth victory of the season over the Pens, a span of four unanswered goals against deflated Hershey, 4-3.
Nine games. That’s all that remains to decide the Hershey Bears playoff fate. Saturday night the Bears pulled off a come from behind victory over one of the best teams in the league, beating the Providence Bruins 3-2 at Giant Center. The victory keeps the Bears in the 8th and final playoff position, just two points ahead of Norfolk.
Saturday night, American Hockey League history was made with Boyd Kane’s 500th career AHL point against the Manchester Monarchs. Kane became the 85th player in league history to reach the milestone. However, the memorable moment was soon spoiled, as Manchester came back to answer Hershey’s early scoring onslaught with a scoring parade of their own. The Monarchs tallied three goals in both the second and third period to down Hershey, 6-4.
It is no lie the Hershey Bears in many instances this season have struggled to put forth a complete game, 100-percent effort against the opposition. However in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Connecticut Whale, effort was no where near a concern for the Chocolate and White.