Good Saturday morning!
Before I get ready to head out to Northeast Pennsylvania, figured I’d do a quick recap of last night in Hershey. Well I wish I had better news. With the almighty Lou in attendance (which probably explains it all), Hershey dominated from start to finish as only the Bears can, beating the Devils 8-3. The Bears took a quick 1-0 lead 3 minutes in courtesy of Brian Willsie. A minute later came the game changer that would set off a very physical evening. Former Bear Louis Robitaille appeared (I was listening not watching the game, will just have to take John Walton’s word on it) to run goalie Dany Sabourin, nearing taking him out of the game with a knee injury. Brian Fahey jumped in and the two fought. For his efforts Louis got two majors (charging and fighting) and a game misconduct. That gave the Bears a 5 minute power play, and they took advantage. Steve Pinizzotto scores on the power play to make it 2-0. Fahey and Patrick Wellar added goals to give the Bears a 4-0 lead late in the first, then Alexander Vasyunov cashed in to make it 4-1 Bears after one period.
Second period…3 more goals from the Bears (Francois Bouchard, Willsie with his second, Sean Collins) saw Mike McKenna exit stage left in favor of Dave Caruso. Then the physicality kicked in, first with the first of two heavyweight bouts between Joel Rechlicz and Pierre-Luc Leblond (still waiting for the Youtube tape to see it), then with 6 and a half minutes left it became every man for himself. Not quite a line brawl though…you had Brad Mills and Trevor Bruess both getting the gate for secondary altercations and Harry Young and Zach Miskovic going a round. 7-1 Bears end of two.
Third period…more Hershey, more fists flying. Rechlicz and Leblond had their rematch, but both got the gate for unsportsmanlike conduct. Harry Young took on a second opponent, this time Sean Collins, both of them were tossed for a secondary altercation. To top it off, two scorers, Matt Anderson and Keith Aucoin, decided why not and they went a round. Add in 10-minute misconducts each for Chris Murray and Fahey, and you have a total of 173 penalty minutes handed out. 9 players added at least 10 PIM to their stat lines, Rechlicz leading everyone with 22, with Young and Robitaille earning 20 apiece. And oh by the way a hockey game broke out…Rob Davison and Chad Wiseman brought the deficit back within 4, but Kyle Greentree scored to make it a 8-3 Hershey win.
I would say those 10,205 in attendance got their money’s worth. February 4th in Atlantic City is going to be a very interesting night. That is when the two teams meet again.
Tonight the Devils’ road trip doesn’t get any easier, a visit to first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Penguins are coming off a rare loss to the Phantoms in Philly. That, plus the Devils performance and a sold out Mohegan Sun Arena, will make for a very interesting atmosphere tonight. One that I will be a part of. This will be a culture shock for me, going from where nobody’s home to every seat in the house filled. But I am very much looking forward to it and visiting with my Pens crew. I’m also staying for the Penguins home game tomorrow afternoon when Charlotte comes in. Visiting my ex-Rats and maybe doing a little scouting in the process, then coming back home tomorrow night.
Okay time to finsh my trip preparations before hitting the road…checking in from NEPA later I suppose…