Hat Trick of Fights Welcomes Latta, Byers & Rechlicz to Hershey

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Posted April 6, 2013
Michael Latta v  Mike Angelidis in Latta's first home game as a Hershey Bear.

Michael Latta v.  Mike Angelidis in Latta’s first home game as a Hershey Bear (All Photos Credit: M. Richter).

When Michael Latta was traded to the Bears on Thursday, it mades headlines for everyone involved in the trade except him (hint: prospect Filip Forsberg and winger Martin Erat).  Tonight, he made it clear that he’d like his share of the attention, dropping the gloves just 19 seconds into his first home game as a Bear against the Syracuse Crunch (a game which Hershey lost 2-1, for the record).  While the bout with Syracuse’s Mike Angelidis was a draw, the new centre definitely made an impression on the crowd.

New Hershey Bear Dane Byers takes on Syracuse's Philippe Paradis.

New Hershey Bear Dane Byers takes on Syracuse’s Philippe Paradis.

Taking a note out of his new teammate’s strategy, and the fact that all three players recently acquired via trade have at least 144 penalty minutes apiece, Dane Byers dropped the gloves seven minutes later.  Both he and Latta are playing their second game in the chocolate and white.

The only real question remaining tonight was whether the final trade acquisition – fan favorite Joel “Recker” Rechlicz, playing his first game this season with the Bears – would join his brethren.  Few were surprised when he opted to tangle with Eric Neilson 5:06 into the second period, and indeed, the crowd was positively gleeful to see him back in action on the home team’s behalf.

Joel Rechlicz v. Eric Neilson of the Syracuse Crunch.

Joel Rechlicz v. Eric Neilson of the Syracuse Crunch.

While Nate Schmidt also joined the Hershey roster, don’t expect the newly-pro defenseman to be dropping the gloves anytime soon.

Nate Schmidt gets a feel for hockey at the AHL level.

Nate Schmidt gets a feel for hockey at the AHL level.

For those wondering what the new players look like when they’re not throwing punches, here are a few face-shots for you.

Michael Latta

Michael Latta

Dane Byers, recently acquired via trade for defenseman Garrett Stafford.

Dane Byers, recently acquired via trade for defenseman Garrett Stafford.

Joel Rechlicz Returns

Joel Rechlicz Returns

Defenseman Nate Schmidt

Defenseman Nate Schmidt

For Posterity: It should be noted that despite plenty of cheering and exchanged frustration, the Bears trail the Syracuse Crunch 1-0 at the midpoint of the game.

Joey Crabb scores, tying the game for Hershey and giving Nate Schmidt his first pro point with an assist.

Joey Crabb scores, tying the game for Hershey and giving Nate Schmidt his first pro point with an assist.

Update #1: Joey Crabb scored with 54.4 seconds left in the second period to tie the game for the Bears.  Nate Schmidt had the secondary assist, which was also his first pro point.  Congrats, kid!  Jeff Taffe had the primary assist, which keeps him in the slot of top scorer in the AHL.

Update #2: Unfortunately, Syracuse’s Ondrej Palat pushed the Crunch back into the lead at 3:50 of the third period, and the Bears never recovered.  Syracuse’s earlier goal had been scored by Jean-Philipp Cote.

One last thing. Garrett Mitchell got to meet Lebanon Levi, of Amish Mafia fame, at the game. There you have it, the Amish are Bears fans.

 

M. Richter

M. Richter

Associate Editor at Capitals Outsider
Em is a fan of hockey first and individual teams second, with geographical ties that cross the NHL. She was born in the Midwest, raised along the East Coast, and graduated from a university in Western Canada. A firm believer in context above all else, and a card-carrying on-ice official with USA Hockey, she splits her time between the big picture and the details. When not covering the AHL and ECHL for Caps Outsider, her photography can be found on Behance and Flickr. She also occasionally chimes in about the Hershey Bears on the Power Play Post Show.
M. Richter
M. Richter

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