“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.
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.
The Hershey Bears entered Saturday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins again looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses against Binghamton and Syracuse. Although inconsistency has been a concern this season, the Bears entered play possessing a 9-5-0-1 record in each game following a loss. On the flip side, however, Hershey’s record stands at a disappointing 3-7-1-2 when following a win.
Saturday the Bears’ ended a 3-in-3 game stretch with a thrilling 2-1 shootout victory over their I-81 Rivals. It was a game Hershey rightfully so deserved to win in regulation, but settled for a shootout win due to an outstanding performance by Pens’ goaltender Eric Hartzell.
Fans packed Giant Center for a rare Friday night game against the Syracuse Crunch. Ryan Potulny made his anticipated season debut with the Chocolate and White and was inserted on an offensive line with Jeff Taffe and Casey Wellman.
A lackadaisical second period for the Chocolate and White set the stage for a 3-2 defeat to the Crunch.
The Hershey Bears have announced that they have signed forward Ryan Potulny. The 29-year-old has played the last two season in Hershey before deciding to play in the KHL at the start of this season. He injured his shoulder before the start of the season and contract was voided by his KHL team.
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.