Bears Author Comeback Win Over Ads

Pretty good hockey game here tonight, with the prospect of another good one looming tomorrow. Hershey won 3-2 in overtime.

The Bears fell behind early in the first when Reed Low (Reed Low?) took advantage of a blown Dean Arsene tire to score a goal-scorer’s goal, top shelf. A wrist shot that beat Hershey’s Freddie Cassivi high on the glove side.

The Bears knotted it late in the first on Kyle Wilson’s power play tally, his third as a Bear. Lawrence Nycholat fired a perfect pass to Wilson, isolating him down low for an easy tap-in.

The two teams, both beasts of the East thus far this season, then traded chances and power play opportunities. Well, they didn’t exactly “trade” them. Hershey got a lump sum of man-advantage opportunities, and then Norfolk got a lump sum of the same. Then in the third, Hershey got another lump sum. And it showed on the scoresheet.

The Bears recorded 23 of the last 24 shots on the evening. Norfolk had but one third period shot on goal, and that off a fluky bounce when a dump in caught a panel of boards and kicked out in front. Cassivi had gone behind the net to play the hard-around that never arrived. Norfolk’s Troy Brouwer flipped it into the vacated cage to give the Ads a 2-1 lead.

Down a goal with 7:46 to play, the Bears persevered. Their speed gave them some power plays, and Norfolk’s lack of discipline added to the equation. Hershey had four brief 5-on-3 chances during the course of the evening, but was unable to find the back of the net during any of those opportunities. The Bears poured shots on goal throughout the third, and they finally solved Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford with 2:34 remaining when Chad Wiseman drilled a slapper home from the center of the blueline on a Hershey power play.

Even with the game tied and less than three minutes remaining, the Ads still took two more minor penalties (giving the Bears their fourth brief two-man advantage) in the final 2:05 of regulation. Sensing that they needed to score before the penalty tables turned yet again, the Bears did exactly that at 1:07 of the third. Tomas Fleischmann’s cross-ice feed set up Eric Fehr for a one-time blast from the right circle. It got nothing but net, and the sweet, swishy swirl of vulcanized rubber on twine could be heard high in the Giant Center rafters in that split second before the crowd erupted.

For Fehr, who only scores the big goals, it was his fifth game-winner of the season and his 13th overall. That’s more than halfway to the total of 25 he recorded as an AHL rookie in 2005-06.

Saturday’s game marked the second time in four nights that the Bears had put a 3-2 overtime win on the Admirals. The two teams meet again here tomorrow, and Norfolf figures to be in ill humor. Ads defenseman Danny Richmond was assessed a gross misconduct after Fehr’s goal.

Had a nice chat with Ron Sutter after the game. As is the case with every player I’ve ever queried on the matter, he remembered his first NHL goal (I mentioned earlier that he scored it 24 years ago tonight) well. Quebec’s John Garrett was the victim, and Tom Gorence and Behn Wilson collected the assists. Gorence wound up his pro hocky career with a single game in a Bears uniform back in 1985-86.

More tomorrow.

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