Photo by Kyle Mace
OK, kids. We have a little more in the news department this week.
Dinger Family Zoo starts her look at the newbies with Danick Paquette. [DFZ]
Frederic Cassivi helps out with the Keystone Games. [PennLive]
Don’t forget about “Hockey Talk” at the Bear’s Den this Friday evening. [PennLive]
Michal Neuvirth doesn’t care right now if he’s the number one goalie. [RMNB]
The Nashville Predators sign Tyler Sloan. [NBC]
Giving Dany Sabourin a well-deserved rest, Braden Holtby led the Bears onto the ice against the Binghamton Senators tonight.
Boyd Kane scored the first goal of the game. He sniped the shot up high and gave Hershey the early lead. Before the end of the period, the Senators tied it up on the power play when Bobby Butler slammed home the rebound.
In the second period, the teams exchanged goals again. Bingo got their first lead of the game when they got the puck close up on the goal crease and beat Holtby. Hershey countered with a power play goal of their own. Brian Willsie gets all the credit on this one as he danced through the defense and placed a perfect backhand shot.
It looked like there was a game-changing penalty when Jim O’Brien of Binghamton was questionably penalized for a hit on Tyler Sloan. O’Brien recieved an elbowing major as well as a game misconduct. But the Senators came up big and killed off the penalty.
Just when it seemed as if not scoring on that power play was going to be their biggest regret, the Bears upped their offense and got moving. Kyle Greentree got the puck right between the face-off circles and scored five-hole on Mike Brodeur with about two and half minutes left in the game.
The Senators couldn’t muster up enough to tie the game again and the Bears won 3-2. They have now won five games in a row, their longest streak of the season!
It took a whole period for the Hershey Bears to wake up in their game against the Adirondack Phantoms. Maybe they were feeling a little lethargic on their third game in three days. On the other side, the Phantoms were looking even more tired due to all their traveling in the past few days.
The Bears made up for the goal-less first period. Francois Bouchard started the Bears off with a beautiful top shelf snipe against Michael Leighton. A few minutes later, Patrick Wellar scored on a shot from the blue line. Andrew Gordon topped off the period with a goal, the whole time fighting off a Phantom who was watching him closely.
Adirondack ended the shutout with a goal on the power play with Tyler Sloan was in the box for interference.
Thankfully, Sheldon Souray, playing his first game back from his most recent lower body injury, made up for it later. Phantom Stefan Legein absorbed the entire blow of Souray’s first bomb of a shot. As he struggled to get up, the puck returned to Souray and this time no one was willing to block it the second time and he found the back of the net. David de Kastrozza, playing only his second AHL game, got the primary assist and his very first AHL point!
Brian Willsie scored on the power play to make the final score 5-1 Hershey.
Dany Sabourin has taken a lot of criticism for his play this season. As such, I feel more than obligated to give credit where credit is due. Not only did he play three games in three days, not only did he win all three games, he played damn good. He even stopped a penalty shot late in the third period. Throughout the weekend, he stopped 78 of 83 shots. I think the decision to play him all three days is a show of support from the coaches. If anyone deserves a lot of rest tomorrow, it’s Sabourin.
These players deserve a lot of credit. Hopefully they will wrap up the homestand with a win against the Springfield Falcons on Wednesday.
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.
The Bears came to tonight’s game looking to grab a couple more points from a struggling Adirondack team. The Phantoms have recently been playing better than they had at the start of the season. Before tonight they had not lost in regulation in the last six games. Both teams played a tight game. In the end the Bears were able to prevail and take two more standings points home with them. Those were points that they ended up needing since Norfolk also won tonight. The Bears are still trailing Norfolk by one point for third place in the Eastern Division; however the Bears have a game in hand.
Without many whistles, the first period moved along quickly. The Bears had 3 power plays during the period. Sloppy passing and stick handling caused them to squander the first two opportunities. The third Bears power play of the period started out the same way. The first unit was ineffective against the Phantoms penalty killers. With time running short on the power play the second unit was sent out. Dmitri Kugryshev was able to keep the puck in on the right boards then get a pass to Zach Miskovic near the center point. Miskovic fired a shot through traffic that found the back of the net. The period ended with 10 total shots on goal (Bears 8, Phantoms 2)
The second period started much like the first, but Brian Willsie quickly changed that. After Phantoms turnover Steve Pinizzotto took the puck below the right faceoff circle and sent a pass to Willsie in the high slot. Leighton never got over in time and Willsie was able to bury the shot in the back of the net. Willsie later gave Patrick Wellar an assist. Wellar took a deflected shot to the mouth late in the second period and immediately left the ice with blood evident. Willsie skated over, found Wellar’s tooth and made sure the tooth made it back to its rightful owner.
The Bears took a couple penalties in the front half of the third period. Unlike the first two periods, the Phantoms were able to get some quality chances on those power plays. In the first two stanzas, I found myself forgetting that the Bears were actually killing a penalty. Fortunately Danny Sabourin and the penalty killers were able to keep the Phantoms off the score sheet. At 17:36 Keith Aucoin took a slashing minor to make the last couple minutes of the game a little more interesting. With about 1:20 left, Michael Leighton was pulled to add an extra skater. In the end it didn’t make a difference. The Bears killed off the penalty, and Pinizzotto added an empty netter to finish off the game.