With less than 1 minute remaining in the 2nd period gloves, sticks and helmets were sprawled across the ice, as a line brawl ensued in retaliation for a venomous two-handed slashing to Hershey Bears winger John Mitchell by Binghamton defenseman Chris Wideman. Down two-points (1-3), the B-Sens gave the Hershey Bears the fuel they needed to reenergize their lagging game.
“Pretty vicious play. I haven't seen that in a long time,” head coach Mike Haviland commented on the slashing that gave the Bears a good kick late in the second period. “That was intent. He knew what he was doing. But the league will deal with that.”
Mitchell’s elbow on Wideman is what sparked him to chase Mitchell up ice behind the play to deliver a two handed slash. The slashing earned the defenseman a match penalty and he could possibly face suspension, while Mitchell drew an elbowing penalty from that play.
With 6.3 seconds remaining, the B-sens dealt the Bears the perfect spark to light a fire in their otherwise lagging game. Jeff Taffe led the Bears to a goal on the power play, cutting the B-Sens lead by 1, making the score 3-2.
Coming back in the 3rd period still with 4:53 of power play time, the Bears were unable to convert. Soon thereafter they fell farther down on the board, as the B-Sens advanced, 4-3. It seemed that the fate of the Bears, who are not known for 3rd period come backs, was sealed with Buddy Robinson’s short-handed goal.
With plenty of time remaining, the Bears surged to a comeback. Casey Wellman scored a power play goal and Mitchell clinched a shorthander, tying the contest at 4-4. Last night for the second time, the Bears pressed into overtime and played the best 5-minutes of defend the den, as they helped Philipp Grubauer keep the score level.
Not as exciting as the previous night’s bout, the game was again decided by a shootout. The Bears must have used all of their shootout luck the night before as they only managed to register one goal, losing the game to Binghamton in the shoot-out.
A tough loss for the Hershey Bears, as they battled back twice in this contest. Haviland is finally seeing what he wants from this team, they are a bunch of really talented players and have great momentum as they head on the road. The wins on home ice are going to start coming. I thought they dropped nearly the entire 2nd period until the line brawl sparked some fiery emotion that fueled their comeback. They need to play an entire 60 minute game and be more competitive during 5-on-5 hockey. The Bears added a few new players to the line-up last night, changing up the dynamic and took home three out of four points this weekend. It’s great to see a head coach like Mike Haviland in Hershey!
The Hershey Bears head on the road this week as they face the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday and Thursday and then the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday. The Bears will be back in their home barn November 23rd and will square off against the Binghamton Senators again – you are not going to want to miss this rematch!!