The Hershey Bears recent offensive struggles continued Sunday night, as they fell to the Portland Pirates 3-1. Andy Miele, Michael Stone and Alexandre Bolduc tallied goals for Portland in their fifth win of the season. Tomas Kundratek netted the lone Hershey tally. Portland goalie, Chad Johnson was phenomenal in net for the Pirates stopping 22 of the 23 shots he faced. Hershey goalie, Braden Holtby padded aside 31 Portland shots on goal.
“There’s got to be a level of execution”, said Bears coach, Mark French. “You got to put two passes together to be able to get out of your zone and effectively through the neutral zone to attack the offensive zone with any type of speed. There was very few times we were able to do that.”
“There’s some guys in room that have got to take ownership and be a little bit better”, said French.
“I don’t think any of us would be happy with the effort the last two days especially”, said Bears goalie, Braden Holtby of the team’s performance.
Hershey jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage, cashing in on their first power play opportunity of the game. Tomas Kundratek ripped home a rebound for his third goal of the season, following a shot on goal by forward Jon DiSalvatore.
The Pirates tied the game at one with six minutes left in the first frame, converting during four-on-four play. Portland forward, Andy Miele recorded his fifth goal of the season, tapping a rebound past Holtby. The Pirates held the majority of the scoring chances in the first period, outshooting Hershey 10-5. Bears forward, Mathieu Beaudoin ringed one off the post near the end of the period.
Portland padded their lead in the second frame, taking a 2-1 lead to the third period. Pirates defenseman, Michael Stone pinched in from the blue line and ripped his second goal of the year past Holtby.
The young Capitals net minder made some key saves in the second period, including a breakaway stop on Chris Brown. Through two periods Holtby had padded aside 24 Portland shots on goal.
Pirates forward, Alexandre Bolduc netted his eighth goal of the season midway through the third period, racing to a puck in front of the net that Holtby misplayed.
“It would of still been a breakaway”, said Holtby of the goal. “I liked my chances stopping that more than the play I decided to do.”
“We just seem to look dead the past couple games.”
Former Hershey Bears forward, Joel Rechlicz returned to Giant Center, taking on a team he represented for two seasons. He got a chance to start the game, something he’s never done once in his professional hockey career.
“It’s exciting, Hershey’s a great place to play in”, Rechlicz said of returning to Chocolate town. “The fans were just unreal hockey fans, best fans in the league. It’s exciting to come back, wearing a different uniform today, but it was a big win for us.”
“The fans are great here; Hershey’s the best place I’ve played so far. Can’t thank the organization from top to bottom for everything that they’ve done for me and my family. It’s just a great spot here and it was exciting for me to get the start. All the guys were joking about it and everything and I didn’t really know what do out there because I’ve never started in game. It was awesome; I was thrilled when coach told me I was starting.”
1. Attendance: 7,810
2. Hershey forward, Ryan Potulny remained out of the lineup due to injury
3. Bears forward, Stanislav Gailev returned to the lineup following three straight games as a healthy scratch
1. Michael Stone (one goal, one assist, plus three, five shots on goal)
2. Alexandre Bolduc (one goal, plus two, four shots on goal)
3. Mathieu Brodeur (two assists, plus three, one shot on goal)