Liam O’Brien – 6’1″, 205 lbs. 2 Career NHL Regular Season Fights...
“Battle of the Bears” Yields Hershey Success
A full complement of Bears and Bruins exchange opposing viewpoints while Philipp Grubauer tries to stay out of things (All Photos Credit: M. Richter).
It was a meeting of unknowns tonight, with the Providence Bruins and Hershey Bears dropping the puck on their first game in over a year. Since it is also the night before Easter, that meant that the grand prize of the evening would be a pile of Dietz & Watson Hams that the audience could compete for. Thankfully, this year’s crowd had smiles on their faces after the Bears managed an unexpected third period rally and defeated the Bruins 3-2 in regulation.
In addition to their remarkably similar mascots (a “Bruin” is a bear, a term especially favoured in children’s tales), there are three former-Bears on the Providence roster this year – Christian Hanson, Graham Mink, and Chris Bourque. Hanson and Mink both took the ice against their old teammates, logging substantial minutes (though no points or PIM) while proudly displaying their current status as Alternate Captains.
The game started off like this:
But lucky for Hershey fans, it ended like this:
On the Scoresheet:
Providence Goals: Alexander Fallstrom (Assists Alex Khokhlachev & Maxime Sauve), Jamie Tardif (Assists Sauve & Zach Trotman)
Hershey Goals: Boyd Kane (Assists Nicolas Deschamps & Peter LeBlanc), Nicolas Deschamps (Assists Joey Crabb & Jeff Taffe), and Ryan Potulny (Assist Casey Wellman, Game-Winner).
Goalie Shenanigans: Philipp Grubauer warded off 37 of 39 shots tonight. Providence’s Niklas Svedberg blocked 23 of 26.
Notable Penalties: Providence forward Bobby Robins added to his already impressive 281 penalty minutes this season, earning 11 for a fight and three separate minors (one of which was a roughing call that somehow involved taking off his gloves and tussling with Chay Genoway after boarding Cameron Schilling)
It’s a Small, Small Hockey World (Toronto Alumni are Everywhere):
Here at Caps Outsider, we’re fortunate enough to have a Toronto Maple Leafs & Marlies specialist in contributor Megan Bears. When she heard that the Bruins & Bears were playing, she pointed out that between the two teams there are 4 former members of the Toronto organization – Nicolas Deschamps ’11-13 (current Bear, acquired in a recent trade for Kevin Marshall), Joey Crabb ’10-12 (current Bear/Cap, signed last summer), Christian Hanson’09-11 (former-Bear, now Bruin), and Garnet Exelby 09-10(Bruin).
Playoff Hopes Still Strong
Tonight’s win keeps the Bears in the fight for the bubble spots in the East, two points ahead of the #9 Norfolk Admirals and just one point behind the CT Whale. The Bears will have a second chance to pull points from the PBruins on April 12th, when they visit Providence as part of a six-game road trip.