Before the Hershey Bears took the ice Saturday night against the Lehigh...
Hat Trick of Fights Welcomes Latta, Byers & Rechlicz to Hershey
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.
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.
While Nate Schmidt also joined the Hershey roster, don’t expect the newly-pro defenseman to be dropping the gloves anytime soon.
For those wondering what the new players look like when they’re not throwing punches, here are a few face-shots for you.
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.
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.
Met this guy at our game tonight! Lebanon Levi. twitter.com/Mitchy1_0/stat…
— Garrett Mitchell (@Mitchy1_0) April 7, 2013