The Norfolk Admirals survived a last minute comeback attempt by the Bears in a penalty-filled affair, eventually winning 4-3. The Admirals converted two of their six power play chances, most importantly late in the second period on the winning goal from Brandon Segal. Hershey converted two of its eight power play opportunities, but their march to the penalty box ultimately did them in.
Jaroslav Janus was solid in net for the Admirals, shutting down the Bears in the third period. The defense and goaltending struggled again tonight for Hershey, making this a common occurrence after allowing too many goals on the latest five-game road swing.
The Norfolk Admirals made their presence known early by taking a 1-0 lead only two minutes into the game. Mark Barberio netted his eighth goal of the year on a wrist shot near the left wing assisted by Jeff Dimmen and Norfolk’s leading goal scorer, Cory Conacher. Both teams shared penalties through the first ten minutes of the period, two trips to the penalty box for each side and one power play chance for each team, but both clubs were unsuccessful.
After Tomas Kundratek was sent to the penalty box for tripping 14 minutes into the period, the Admirals capitalized on Michel Ouellet’s 11th goal of the year. The goal resulted from a rebound in front of Bears goaltender, Braden Holtby, that he could not cover up. Hershey quickly answered back behind Matt Pope’s fifth goal of the season developing on a great pass from Graham Mink to Pope who was planted directly in front of the net. The Admirals finished the period with a 2-1 lead and an advantage in shots of 10-7.
Hershey quickly made amends on a carry over power play from the first period by Admirals’ Radko Gudas. Chris Bourque’s point shot found twine on a great set up from Cody Eakin. That tally gave Chris Bourque 25 goals on the season. Norfolk quickly responded to take a 3-2 advantage with a goal of its own from Brandon Segal assisted by Michel Ouellet and Alexandre Picard.
The Bears answered with one of their own on a tip-in power-play goal from Kyle Greentree, tying the game at three. This tally was only the fourth goal of the year for Greentree, his first since the AHL Outdoor Classic against Adirondack at Citizens Bank Park. The goal developed on a pass to Ryan Potulny at the point from Chris Bourque. Norfolk took back the lead following a Joel Rechlicz penalty for roughing. Brandon Segal netted his second goal of the game assisted by Mark Barberio and Richard Panik on the man advantage, giving the Admirals a 4-3 advantage heading into the final period.
Hershey was unable to capitalize on their three power play opportunities in the third period and could not find twine past Admiral’s goalie, Jaroslav Janus in the final minute. The Bears pulled goaltender, Braden Holtby with over a minute left in regulation but their point shots were blocked numerous times and a wraparound attempt in the final waning seconds was unsuccessful as Janus stood tall.
1) Brandon Segal(NOR)
2) Mark Barberio(HER)
3) Chris Bourque(HER)
The Hershey Bears travel to Norfolk for a rematch against the Admirals on the 29th of January before returning home to Giant Center next weekend for matchups facing Binghamton and Springfield.