While “X” marked the spot in Wilkes-Barre Township with the Penguins celebrating a playoff berth, the Hershey Bears aimed to inch closer in a battle against the Springfield Falcons.
65 minutes was not enough for either side, leading to Hershey’s 12th skills competition of the 2013-14 campaign. Ryan Stoa became the AHL leader in shootout goals, but the Bears dropped a 4-3 decision in five rounds.
The Hershey Bears debuted on Giant Center ice for the only time this weekend with a Saturday night match against the Springfield Falcons. Bears Play-by-Play voice Scott Stuccio tweeted hours before puck drop, “Bears undoubtedly will be ready to go for this one. Springfield (25-6-1-3) is the AHL’s top team (.771 points %).”
Hershey dropped a 4-2 tilt in Binghamton, NY the night before. However, Stuccio also tweeted Saturday afternoon that the Senators appeared to have too many men on the ice during their second period, game-winning goal.
Just as Stuccio warned, the Bears were ready to play and grinned out a 5-3 win over the top team in the American Hockey League.
Days after leap frogging the Penguins in the East Division standings, the Hershey Bears looked for a statement win against the 15-6-5 Springfield Falcons. Matt Calvert scored shorthanded in the opening period, and it proved to be the games’ only goal in a 1-0 Falcons win.
Photo courtesy: Liam Edson
Friday the Hershey Bears looked to leap over the Springfield Falcons on the road for their fourth win of the year. Entering against the 5-1-0-1 Falcons, Braden Holtby received the nod to start in goal. It was Holtby’s first start since his 35-save shutout over Albany, six days prior. In front of a Springfield crowd of 3,489 fans, Boyd Kane and Matt Pope found the score sheet and Stan Galiev had the game-winning goal in the shootout as the Bears topped the Falcons, 3-2 (SO).
Two notes before this week of Snapshots. #1- Last week you might have recognized we did not post a Snapshots. Unfortunately, there was only one game last week and during warm-ups of that game, my photographs did not turn out correctly with an issue with the exposure that was too radical to fix. #2- Next week the Bears are heading up north. I will not be going up to those game, so we will have a special edition of Snapshots. Leave suggestions for the topic I will post photos of on our Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments. Now on with the show!!
22. Ryan Potulny’s number. Also the number of seconds into over time he scored his 22nd goal of the season. That was also the game winning goal, giving Hershey a 2-1 win over the Springfield Falcons.
The Bears began another 3-in-3 tonight, once again on the road. They started the weekend with a game against the Springfield Falcons, the new team of former captain, Andrew Joudrey.
The first period moved along quickly as the teams battled away. The Bears were playing well and had several big scoring opportunities. One of those opportunities came when Cody Eakin was robbed with a glove save about halfway through the period. But the first goal of the game wasn’t far off. Boyd Kane wrestled the puck away in the neutral zone and got it to Eakin. Eakin set up Jacob Micflikier on a 2-on-1 opportunity and the Bears took the first lead of the game!
Shortly after that, Garrett Mitchell earned his first career AHL goal and it was a nice one! The Bears were playing with an extra man due to a delayed penalty call against the Falcons. Mitchell was near the net and backhanded a rebound past goaltender Danny Taylor.
It was a big night for the Hershey Bears as they traveled up north to play the Springfield Falcons.
It was a great start to the game if you were wearing chocolate and white. The same cannot be said for Springfield goaltender, Gustaf Wesslau. In just about four and a half minutes of play, Wesslau saw two shots. They both became goals.
The first goal was Andrew Kozek, who tipped a Brian Fahey one-timer shot. The second goal belonged to Brian Willsie. Willsie was assisted by Andrew Gordon, who made his triumphant return to the line-up for the first time since he was injured on February 5th.
And that was the end of Wesslau’s night. He was quickly pulled in favor of David LeNeveu. Before the end of the period, the Falcons brought it back within one with a back door shot from Maksim Mayorov.
The second period had sort of a deja vu feeling. It took a few shots, but Kozek finally beat LeNeveu to score his second goal of the night. With two defenders closing in on him, he scored thanks to a long pass from his defenders. Not to be outdone, Willsie scored his second goal of the game as well when he capitalized on a Falcons turnover. And that’s how Hershey found themselves with a cushy lead going into the third period.
It was a pretty quiet third through. Springfield all but rolled and over and gave up. Kyle Greentree put the final nail in the coffin with a 4-on-4 goal. Bears win 5-1.
Before I dive into this game recap, I want to congratulate John Walton on calling his 1,000th game. Fans of any team should appreciate Walton and all that he has done for Hershey. It wouldn’t be half as interesting to listen without you, John. It would be an understatement to say that I hope he’s around for 1,000 more.
And now about the game. After getting snowed in last time and having to push the game to tonight, the two teams were going pretty strong right from the start.
The Springfield Falcons had a some notable names in the starting line-up. Mike Commodore was in, playing his first game for the Springfield Falcons. But the bigger name for Hershey fans was the return of Kyle Wilson. The Reeses Cup mascot dropped the puck in a ceremonial face-off and Andrew Gordon and Wilson took it together. It was nice to see two former teammates together again, even if they were wearing different jerseys.
Speaking of Gordon, he was the first Bear to find the back of the net. With a nice pass from Keith Aucoin, Gordon scored short side on David LeNeveu. Sean Collins, who is having a pretty good season, made it a two goal lead with a missile from center point.
The Falcons cut Hershey’s lead in half when they scored ten seconds into their first power play of the night. The second period was fairly quiet but Brian Willsie added some insurance with a power play goal of his own.
The Falcons looked like they were on the cusp of a comeback during the third period when John Moore got Springfield within one goal of tying. Steve Pinizzotto didn’t take too kindly to this and just moments later scored a sweet goal where he danced around the Falcons goaltender.
Kyle Wilson wasn’t willing to accept defeat and scored a goal with 17.8 seconds left in the game after a botched clearing attempt by Sabourin. The Bears were able to stave off any last chances from Springfield and won 4-3.
Hershey took advantage of this four game home stand and gained eight points in the standings. These four wins are crucial ones and have shown just what this time is capable of. Dany Sabourin played great, winning all four games. He has proven that we can rely on him even when we don’t have Braden Holtby with us.