Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wilson makes it 12 straight

Kyle Wilson scored his 11th goal of the season with just over 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd period to give the Hershey Bears their 12th straight victory, a new franchise record.

Coming into the 3rd period the Bears were trailing 2-1 after 2 second period goals by the Moose. Chris Bourque scored his 9th on a nice play from Mathieu Perreault to tie the game at 2-2 before Wilson's heroics.

It wasn't easy after that though as referee Kyle Rehman started calling penalties on the Bears. With about a minute and a half left in the game he made a too many men call against the Bears and during the call he also dismissed Boyd Kane from the game. Not sure what Kane said or did but apparently he insulted Rehman in some fashion. And just to make it clear...the penalty for too many men was a good call. Beagle was damn near still in the offensive zone when his replacement jumped over the boards.

The penalties didn't end there though as John Carlson was called for a cross checking penalty with only 5 seconds remaining. Again it was the correct call. And just a note...another too many men call was missed by the officials at about the one minute mark. For a good 2-3 seconds the Bears were playing the penalty kill with 5 guys. So while Rehman might have made some questionable calls there were still others that he missed.

This game started the same way Friday nights game went, a defensive goaltending battle between Braden Holtby and Cory Schneider. Andrew Gordon scored his 18th of the season about halfway through the first period and then a Moose breakaway led to their first goal, scored by Sergei Shirokov shorthanded. The Bears had gone with 5 forwards during a 5 on 3 and they turned the puck over and Shirokov beat Holtby through the 5 hole.

After that the offenses seemed to pick up the pace a bit. Later in the 2nd Marco Rosa converted a beautiful feed by Guillaume Desbians for the Moose's second goal and first lead of the weekend.

They carried that lead into the 3rd before the Bears came back and won in the closing minutes. Hershey will return home tomorrow before heading down to Norfolk for a game Wednesday night. It was a successful weekend yet again and the 09-10 Bears are now franchise record holders with 12 straight wins.

My Three Stars of the Game:
  1. Kyle Wilson - game winning goal on a nice individual play
  2. Andrew Gordon - scored another goal this weekend
  3. Braden Holtby - stopped 33 of 35 shots to pick up yet another win for the rookie

Grading the Performance:
  • Offense | B | Actually took less shots than Friday night, 26, but I thought they were more meaningful. They got Schneider moving side to side and managed to get some good looks. I would like to see Perreault shoot a bit more as he was open a couple times and elected to make questionable passes instead. Lots of one-timers and solid movement in the offensive zone.
  • Defense | B | There were some poor plays including John Carlson not tying up Rosa as he scored the 2nd goal of the game for the Moose. I thought Zach Miscovic and Sean Collins had very solid games at both ends although Collins did make a poor decision in the 3rd period when he made a pass towards the Hershey bench as they were making a line change...which resulted in the first of 2 too many men calls.
  • Goaltending | B | I think Holtby's weakness is definitive now....5 hole. Fortunately this does not usually affect him during game play as breakaways are not super common (although the Moose had a few in 2 games) but Holtby needs to figure out how to block the huge opening he leaves when he goes side to side. the hell can this guy not stay in Hershey this season??
  • Power Play | F | That was one of the worst 5 on 3 power plays I have ever seen. From miscommunication to giving up a shortie that power play was piss poor. The Moose do a good job in front of their own net but you have to be able to get shots on net during power plays if you want to win.
  • Penalty Kill | A | They killed off everything they needed to including a 6 on 4 for the final minute and a half in regulation. Just like they have done all season.
  • Overall | B | Another solid performance that could have been better. Long road trip to face an out of conference opponent can take a lot out of a team but the Bears managed to win 2 in 2 nights against a formidable opponent.
Congrats Bears on a new franchise record....let's see you extend it Wednesday night.

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