Three things stuck out about this game, and they clearly fit into...
Hershey Defeats Phantoms 3-0, Earning Grubauer First AHL Shutout
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer makes one of his 40 saves tonight against the Adirondack Phantoms (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)
It started off as a game of gloriously unforced errors and awkwardly timed incidents, and ended with a sense of palpable frustration in the visitor’s locker room. Luckily for Hershey, Philipp Grubauer seemed immune to the bizarre luck that was going around, and earned his first career AHL Shutout: 3-0 over the Adirondack Phantoms.
So, one might ask – what constitutes strange and unusual in the AHL? Two waved-off goals, including one that was ruled invalid due to an already-occuring fight, and a game-winning goal scored by accident during a penalty kill.
For those seeking more detail, here’s the abbreviated blow-by-blow.
First, Hershey scored after the whistle while Matt Clackson was dropping the gloves with Brandon Manning. The goal horns sounded, the jumbotron went ballistic, and the crowd went nuts. After several minutes of consultation, the goal was waved off due to the aforementioned state of “after the whistle.”
Next, Hershey managed to score by accident on a dump-in while penalty killing (this one counted). Patrick McNeill, who was credited with the goal, was as surprised as anyone. The puck bounced off of either the boards or an official’s skate (video evidence is unclear, so we’ll give the linesman the benefit of the doubt and assume the boards), and slipped past an unsuspecting Scott Munroe in the Adirondack net.
The only goal scored by the Phantoms occurred in the second period, and was ruled to have been kicked in by Jon Sim. Sim didn’t take it well, and later vented his aggression by running Grubauer. While in the penalty box for that transgression, one of his teammates accidentally shot a puck into the Hershey bench and sent backup goaltender Dany Sabourin to the trainer’s room. Per Coach French, Sabourin’s condition was still being assessed following the game (Update: Sabourin took 6-8 stitches and has been reclassified as healthy).
Over the course of the game, the Bears would average a goal per period. All of them were in the latter half of their respective periods, with Ryan Potulny scoring at 15:00 of the second period and Ryan Stoa scoring at 10:42 of the third (it was a good night for Ryans, as each tallied their ninth goal of the season).
Jeff Taffe continues to lead the AHL in assists, adding another two to his record this evening (goals #1 and 2). Steve Oleksy also added two assists (goals #1 and 3), with Casey Wellman and Peter LeBlanc rounding out the evening’s points.
On a more mercenary note, the combination of a free tote bag and an active rivalry on the ice drew a sell-out crowd to Giant Center. More than 10,900 tickets were sold, and both fanbases were well-represented in the stands.