Move over Norfolk, Bears back on top of East
On the same night that HERSHEY becomes the second team in the American Hockey League to clinch a playoff spot, the BEARS also finally caught the first place Norfolk Admirals for the top spot in the East Division. The BEARS defeat the Springfield Falcons 4-2 at GIANT Center for 96 points and a share of first place.
HERSHEY got on the board early with an even-strength goal from Stephen Werner. The Chevy Chase, MD native scored at 4:10 of the first period off a tip of a Dean Arsene shot to give the home team a 1-0 lead. With Louis Robitaille in the penalty box, Springfield would tie the game at 1-1 with Justin Keller's 12th goal of the year. HERSHEY fired 13 shots at Springfield backstop Jonathan Boutin, while Frederic Cassivi faced just six in net for the BEARS.
The BEARS found a pair of goals in the second period to take control of the festivities after 40 minutes of play. Joey Tenute broke behind the Springfield defense and took a pass from Jakub Klepis to score his 22nd goal of the season. The marker at 6:37 of the second gave HERSHEY a 2-1 lead. Jeff Miles then scored his first goal of the season for HERSHEY at 11:40 to increase the advantage. Kyle Wanvig opened the third period with his 14th of the season at 3:54 to close the gap to a single goal, but Chris Bourque's 20th goal of the season at 15:46 put the game in the win column.
Notes: Malcolm MacMillan was recalled earlier in the day Wednesday from Reading (ECHL). He entered the game Wednesday with just three games played for HERSHEY this season, but has 256 penalty minutes for the Royals this season. Louis Robitaille took over the American Hockey League lead in penalty minutes in Wednesday's game. The goal for Werner was his first-ever regular season goal. Washington VP/General Manager George McPhee attended the game. Bourque's 20th goal in the third period gave HERSHEY its seventh different 20-goal scorer in 2006-07. The BEARS had been chasing Norfolk for 67 straight days dating back to January 13, and are now 3-0 on the team's five-game homestand. HERSHEY also stands just nine points short of a franchise record for most points in a season with 12 games to play. The 1996-97 club claimed 105 points en route to the 1997 Calder Cup championship. Philadelphia visits Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. prior to the Binghamton Senators coming to call for the final time this season at GIANT Center on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for this weekend's games are available at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.
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American Hockey League Stories from March 21, 2007
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