Former Caps defenseman John Erskine didn't get the best goodbye in team...
Puck Bags Brighten Gloomy Loss-Filled Weekend for Hershey Fans
Binghamton’s Louie Caporusso celebrates Shane Prince’s game-tying goal against the newly-returned Philipp Grubauer (All Photos Credit: M. Richter).
It’s become an annual Hershey tradition, the sale of innocuous brown paper bags containing player-autographed pucks, chocolate, and an assortment of other goodies. In a weekend where Hershey lost 3 games in 3 nights (5-1 Friday and 4-1 Saturday on the road in Norfolk, and tonight 3-2 to Binghamton here in Hershey), it was a welcome piece of cheer for the home crowd.
The bag sale is an event organized by the Bears’ wives and girlfriends, and all proceeds benefit the PennState Hershey Children’s Hospital. In 2012, the 400 bags on sale were gone in 13 minutes. This year, the bags numbered 750, and stragglers were able to purchase bags right up until sales closed at the end of the second intermission.
While the price for the bags rose to $15, the “extras” included did a good job of off-setting the higher prices. Highlights included:
- HersheyPark pass packages (valued over $200)
- Goodie Baskets: Yankee Candle (multiple), Cocoa Beanery
- Hershey Bears Gear: a Game-Used Braden Holtby Stick (from his days in Hershey), team-autographed Outdoor Classic photos, Autographed programs from the OC, a Bears team-autographed hockey stick coat rack (see photo)
- Capitals Gear: a 2011 Winter Classic Game Jersey, autographed pucks, T-Shirts, & Bobbleheads
- Local Restaurant Gift Certificates – The Hershey Lodge, Aroogas, Fennicis, Dafnos, Olive Garden, Red Robin
- Set-value items: Whitening Session with Dr. Gould, Team Dentist ($650); a Cross-Fit training session ($120); a house-cleaning session ($60)
In addition to the bags, a silent auction is also held over the first two periods of the game. The big name items this year included a spa package for the Hotel Hershey including an overnight stay ($500), the team-autographed media backdrop from the 2013 Outdoor Classic ($100), and a second team-autographed hockey stick coat rack ($200).
It’s worth mentioning that all three of the big-ticket items in the bags themselves ended up going to purchasers under the age of 12 – the Ovechkin Winter Classic jersey, the Coat Rack, and the Game-Used Holtby Stick.
Total earnings from the sale were $11, 250, with an additional $800 coming from a silent auction. Unlike events such as the jersey auctions, where a portion of proceeds go to Hershey Bears Charities, all money the wives & girlfriends bring in (minus the cost of basic supplies – pucks and bags) will go to the children’s hospital.
Stats and Notes:
The Bears capped off their dismal weekend with a strong start that slipped into a 3-2 regulation loss to Binghamton. While they surrendered the first goal, the Bears rebounded in the second period and claimed a 2-1 lead that lasted until 3:37 remained in the third period.
The BSens pulled themselves together at that point, unfortunately, and managed to both tied and win the game as the clock wound down. The tying goal was six seconds into a power-play, while the game-winning goal was scored in the last three seconds of regulation.
For those concerned with the nitty gritties, here are the goals and goalie-stats.
Binghamton: Jean-Gabriel Pageau (from Corey Cowick) at 11:09 first period (Short-Handed); Shane Prince (from Brett Lebda & Chris Wideman) at 16:23 third period (Power Play); Derek Grant (from Pat Cannone & Wacey Hamilton) at 19:57 third period.