Rough night in Hershey for the Bears last night, as they dropped their game against the Binghamton Senators, who came back for more after losing to the Bears (5-2) on Saturday. For whatever reason, the Bears were off their game last night as they took the ice: over skating the puck and missing passes throughout the neutral and offensive zones which lead to turnovers that gave the Senators generous scoring opportunities.
“We have to bear down,” said head coach Mike Haviland. “We thought the game was going to be a little cuter than it was last night and we turned pucks over, we didn’t get pucks behind them. Everything that was successful last night we got away from tonight.”
Missed passes in the neutral and offensive zone were at a premium last night for the Bears. Patrick Wey finally connected the dots for Hershey and banked one into the net during the 2nd period, claiming the equalizer turning this into anyone’s hockey game.
“When you turn pucks over against this team, they transition so well, you fuel their game,” Haviland candidly spoke during his post-game interview. “When you put pucks in the middle of the ice and they transition, once they get a chance to go, they are going.”
A goaltending mistake early in the 3rd period and another goal allowed by Philipp Grubauer later in the period, lead to a palm-to-face moment of disbelief, as this game quickly slipped away from the Bears. Shortly after taking the 3-1 lead the Senators put the nail in the coffin with an empty net goal with less than a minute of play remaining in the game.
“It was still only 1-1 going into the 3rd,” Haviland said. “If you’re getting a chance in the slot, you have to make it count, especially in a 1-1 game, or 2-1 hockey game.”
The Bears are a talented group of players who have demonstrated greatness, especially Saturday, registering 3 goals from 3 different lines in less than 2 minutes, but their roller coaster season does not support that claim. Their record at home has now slipped to 3-3-1-2 and 3-3-1-0 on the road.
“It’s unacceptable our record at home. We have to get good at home. We have to get points at home.” Coach Haviland said. “You can’t just come to the game and, I call it ‘throwing your sticks in the middle and expect that you’re going to win.’ You have to be detailed and structured and stick with the game plan. I think we veered off the game plan and then we came back at times but not like we should. It is a learning experience for sure but we’ve gotta stop making that as an excuse.”
Sixteen games into the season and the Bears are still riding a roller coaster and lacking consistency. The Bears started this weekend with their best game of the season and immediately contradicted that with the most disjointed performance yet. It is evident that the Bears are stocked with talent but the chemistry did not translate onto the ice last night against the Binghamton Senators. Haviland is looking for the team to produce and isn’t afraid to jostle up the line up to get results.
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