Sunday evening, the Hershey Bears played host to the defending Calder Cup Champion Binghamton Senators. The Bears closed out the month of October with a 3-2 win over the B-Sens as Jacob Micflikier recorded first star honors, registering a power-play goal and an assist.
With the Bears facing the Senators, who hoisted the Calder Cup just four months ago, it was the first time since March 29, 2008 Hershey faced the defending Calder Cup Champs on home ice. Going back a few seasons, the Hershey Bears defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs at Giant Center who were at the time being, the defending Calder Cup Champions. Chris Bourque scored four goals in that game four years ago for Hershey. Sunday he was held of the score sheet point wise, but did fire four shots on goal.
The Bears were off and running from the start on Sunday, as the power-play unit hit the ice only 2:34 into the contest. On the man-advantage, Graham Mink would slap a cross-ice feed from Keith Aucoin into the net only 11 seconds into the advantage. Going into the matchup, the Bears’ power-play was 7-for-20 at home during the campaign.
Mink’s tally would be the lone strike in the first 20 minutes between either team. Within the stanza, the B-Sens’ Francis Lessard dropped the gloves twice facing two different opponents. His first haymakers would be thrown at the 1:52 mark against Paul Baier, as his second fight was against Bears’ heavyweight Joel Rechlicz. Joel Rechlicz was later given a game misconduct during the third period for continuing his actions against Lessard.
Into the second period the Bears would have full control from start to finish when not only on the power-play, but also 5-on-5. 5:51 into the frame, Boyd Kane drove to the next on an even strength rush and fired a shot from the high-slot. Kane crashing the net picked up his own rebound and fired it in short side on Mike McKenna.
Over 10 minutes later, on the power-play Jacob Micflikier would tally what proved later to be the game winning goal for Hershey. The Bears man-advantage which was 2-for-6 in the contest went back to work, when Graham Mink slapped a pass across an open slot area right to Micflikier for him to bury it into a wide open net. Similar set up to the Bears’ opening goal of the night.
Despite being out shot in the period, 18-8 and out played by an even bigger margin, the Sens would tally with only 53 seconds left in the period to cut the Hershey lead to 3-1. After a great forecheck behind the Bears’ net by David Dziurzynski, he freed up the puck and set a pass as quick as lightning threw the slot, beating Braden Holtby from side-to-side. Wacey Hamilton was on the doorstep to lay up the perfect into an open net for his first goal of the season.
In front of a near sellout crowd of 10,319 at Giant Center, the Bears held off the B-Sens despite a late goal for a 3-2 win. The Hershey Bears closed out the month of October with a 6-2-2-0 record. They open the month of November with a game on Friday, November 4 with a game against their I-81 rivals in Wilkes-Barre. Puck drops between the Pens and Bears at 7 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena.