Bears Wrap Up Light Month with Big Win; Busy November Starts Friday
The lightest month of the season closed on a winning note for the Hershey Bears Hockey Club. Following a 4-3 setback against the Hartford Wolf Pack at GIANT Center on Saturday, the Bears played a solid 60 minutes on Sunday in earning a 4-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals.
The lead changed hands three times in Friday's contest, with Jeff Taffe opening the scoring with his second power play goal of the season. Hartford scored late in the first and early in the second to take the lead, on goals from Oscar Lindberg and Aaron Johnson. Hershey responded with two quick goals of their own later in the period, with Chay Genoway's first of the season knotting the score and Michael Latta's highlight-reel goal restoring the Hershey lead. But Danny Kristo and Andrew Yogan scored third-period markers and goaltender Scott Stajcer stopped all seven Hershey shots in the third period to preserve the win.
Nathan Walker's first AHL goal - the first goal scored by an Australian in the league - pushed the Bears out of the gate in Sunday's matchup. Norfolk would take a 2-1 lead on goals from Alex Grant and Zack Stortini, but Hershey's three unanswered strikes from Julien Brouillette, Peter LeBlanc and Dane Byers sent the hosts to their first home win of 2013-14, and gave goaltender David Leggio his first Hershey victory.
A heaping helping of hockey awaits, as three of the first 12 November games for the Bears will be played in the first three nights. Wilkes- Barre/Scranton hosts the front end of a home-and-home on Friday, followed by the rematch on Saturday in Hershey. Norfolk returns for another Sunday evening contest at GIANT Center.
HERSHEY BEARS NEWS AND NOTES
IT JUST TOOK TIME: Offense was the name of the Bears' game on Sunday, as the team outshot Norfolk by a margin of 38-19 in the game. It was the first time this season that the Bears outshot their opponent, and the first time since March 29 at Albany that Hershey held their opponent to fewer than 20 shots on goal.
I CALLED IT FIRST: The Bears have scored the first goal in the past five consecutive contests.
AUSSIE MEGA: Forward Nathan Walker made history on Sunday at GIANT Center, as the 19-year-old rookie netted his first career AHL goal - the first goal ever scored by an Australian in the league.
PATIENCE & PERFORMANCE: After playing just one game of the first six this season - at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on October 12 - defenseman Julien Brouillette returned to the lineup and made an immediate impact on Sunday. Brouillette set up Nathan Walker's first AHL goal, and scored the game-tying marker on a power play. It was Brouillette's first multiple-point game since December 27, 2011 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
IT'S A TEAM EFFORT: His team played well in front of him, but goaltender David Leggio also earns credit for helping out in Sunday's game. Last season's AHL wins leader made 17 saves in picking up his first Hershey victory, and added an assist on Nathan Walker's first AHL goal.
SUNDAY IS FUN DAY: The Bears have won three consecutive Sunday games dating back to April 14, and six of their past eight Sunday games dating back to March 3.
CORE STRENGTH: The Bears tacked on two more second-period goals on Sunday, and now have scored 10 of their 16 total goals in the middle frame.
UP NEXT: After playing just two of their first six games against East Division opponents, the Bears will play eight of their 12 November contests against division rivals.
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