The Canadian flag made its debut on the new scoreboard and LED ribbon with the St. John’s IceCaps’ first visit of the season. The new AHL Affiliate for the Montreal Canadiens came out with fire and grabbed a 1-0 lead 3:51 in. Darren Dietz tallied his second goal of the season with a floater of a shot past Justin Peters.
Credit Peters, however, for keeping it a one-goal deficit in the early going. He made two dandy saves en route to a successful 5-on-3 penalty kill. Both saves required quick, explosive moment from post-to-post to deny a back door chance.
Hershey’s best scoring chance of the frame came half way through, when Paul Carey faced an open net and had the puck roll up on his stick.
Into the second period, St. John’s began the period in similar fashion with an early strike. Charles Hudon scored his fourth goal of the early season 1:09 in. But this time, the Chocolate and White quickly bounced back to cut the Caps’ two-goal lead in half. Less than three minutes later, captain Garrett Mitchell relentlessly stormed the slot area under heavy pressure and scored on Zachary Fucale.
The Bears looked solid on the offensive forecheck throughout the period, and did a solid job throwing more pucks on goal. We also saw an increasing amount of odd-man rushes for Hershey. Nonetheless, for Hershey to come away victorious, they will have to overcome a third period, 2-1 deficit.
The first, third period comeback win of the season for Hershey was indeed in the cards. A three goal third period for the Chocolate and White capped a thrilling 4-2 win. Liam O’Brien tied the hockey game at 4:14, setting up Paul Carey’s eventual game-winning goal with 10:02 left.
Chris Bourque earned the primary helper on Carey’s goal with a beautiful feed to cap his 400th game as a Hershey Bear.
Dustin Gazley hit the empty net with 25 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
It wasn’t your 60 minute complete game effort coaches dream of, but it was nonetheless a grind-em-out, physical and mental effort put forth in spurts. Thankfully, a third period spurt topped with solid goaltending by Justin Peters was the recipe for a “W”.
See you at the Den tomorrow!
Submitted by intern Matt Trust