It's Army-Navy week in the region, and the rivalry was renewed with...
History Repeats in Hershey (Again). Take #3.
Well, the news coming out of Gwinnett is good. In the first of two back-to-back games against the Gladiators, the South Carolina Stingrays earned themselves a 3-1 victory. There’s a reason I still use the twitter hashtag #rainbowsandkittens for their victory posts.
In Hershey, the news is not so nice. As you may remember, Hershey has a bit of a losing streak going when facing the Baby Pens at the Giant Center. It’s been going for well over a season, and it leads to a certain amount of inherent frustration and encouragement to pull a win out of wherever they can find it. Add to that the fact that the Baby Pens were still sore about Holtby‘s over-enthusiastic victory celebration when Hershey defeated the Pens in their own barn on Black Friday, and it’s a recipe for a nasty grudge match.
If you’ll look at the title of this post, you’ll note that the Bears’ redemption in their own house has failed to happen (yet again). Instead, they handed away 2 points with a 4-2 regulation loss. Hence, all hail the mighty ‘Rays. Oh, and that Kundratek guy, he’s pretty good, too.
Tonight’s loss was awkward for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that Hershey’s Ryan Potulny scored the first goal a third of the way through the second period. The Baby Pens rallied to even it up before the end of the frame, but by all appearances the game looked like it would conclude the way that it opened – aggressive physical play, grouchy officials, and a hair’s breadth between the two teams until the bitter end.
Sadly, once the third period got underway the (woefully depleted, courtesy of their parent team‘s injury woes) Baby Pens scored twice in four minutes and threw everything under the metaphorical bus. Hershey jumped into a panic, passes not quite connecting and several rounds of downright ping-pong that served to frustrate everyone involved.
We’re not going to talk about the ridiculous number of coincidental penalties. Or the inconsistent way in which they actually impacted the manpower on the ice (it was bizarre – at one point in the first period, they appeared to be playing by USA Hockey rules). We’re not going to talk about how the Bears ended their four game winning streak that happened to coincide with the calendar reading “December,” either. Oh, and we’re also not going to talk about the top line’s glaring absence from the scoresheet, because that one can legitimately be put down to strategy on the part of the Baby Pens.
I’d love to talk about how one of the Bears threw a fit and tossed over their own net after WBS scored seconds after Holtby was pulled, but I wasn’t able to confirm which Bear was responsible for the act.
Update: As per Dave Sottile of PA Puck, Graham Mink was responsible for dislodging the net. It was an impressive fit of pique.
We are going to talk about the fact that Tomas Kundratek extended his current point/game streak to a fifth game, walking away from tonight’s 4-2 loss with a +1 and the distinction of being on the ice when precisely ZERO goals against were scored. Bravo, sir!
We’re also going to talk about how, when WBS comes to town on the 28th this will not be happening again. *coughs*
Just so we’re all clear.