Hershey Bears Open Season in Cocoa-Coloured Style

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Posted October 5, 2013
Orlov Hershey Opening Night

Dmitry Orlov takes a slapshot while showcasing the Bears’ Opening Night Specialty Jerseys (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

Just four days after the Capitals opened their 2013-14 season, the Hershey Bears took to the ice to “Defend the Den” against the visiting Adirondack Phantoms in their own season home opener.  In keeping with custom, the Bears opened their season at home in specialty jerseys.  This year, the theme was tasteful chocolate with a dash of milk.  They were also incredibly easy on the eyes when it came to identifying players, with large white numbers both front and back and contrasting stripes with numbering on both arms.  The jerseys were auctioned off after the game to benefit Hershey Bears Charities.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer proves that a specialty jersey doesn't interfere with his sick moves in net.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer proves that a specialty jersey doesn’t interfere with his sick moves in net.

Unfortunately for the fans, the jerseys were arguably the most tasteful element in play during the first period, as the Bears quickly dropped into a 2-0 deficit against the visiting Phantoms.  Goaltender Philipp Grubauer’s season was exactly 3:50 long when he reached the 2.0 GAA milestone, though he stabilized out as the first frame moved along.  Both goals were the result of rebounds.  By the second period, the German goalie had brushed off the disappointing start and settled in.

In contrast to Grubauer’s shaky start, returning pugilistic veteran and fan favourite Joel Rechlicz knew exactly why he was here tonight.  The “Recker” dropped the gloves twice in the first fifteen minutes of the season.

Joel Rechlicz drops the gloves with Zack FitzGerald 3:10 into the Bears' regular season.

Joel Rechlicz drops the gloves with Zack FitzGerald 3:10 into the Bears’ regular season.

In the second period, rookie Nate Schmidt (assisted by Peter LeBlanc) managed to salvage some of Hershey’s pride with the first Hershey goal of the regular season clocking in just 51 seconds into the second period.  Michael Latta (recently sent down by the Caps) then evened things up during the Bears’ first Penalty Kill, and Derek Whitmore repeated the short-handed scoring feat five minutes later.

Michael Latta snags a short-handed breakaway and evens the score against goaltender Yann Danis.

Michael Latta snags a short-handed breakaway and evens the score against goaltender Yann Danis.

The second period would prove to be the only golden frame for the Bears, as the Phantoms tied things up just under halfway through the third and then proceeded to win 3:22 into overtime.

The Phantoms celebrate their game-winning goal.  While disappointed, the Bears did at least claim a point by forcing the OT.

The Phantoms celebrate their game-winning goal. While disappointed, the Bears did at least claim a point by forcing the OT.

Goal Credits (Adirondack Phantoms in Italics):

First Period: 1:13 Ben Holmstrom (from Michael Raffl & Brandon Alderson).  3:48 Tye McGinn (from Nick Cousins & Jason Akeson).

Second Period: 0:51 - Nate Schmidt (from Peter LeBlanc). 9:46 Michael Latta (unassisted, short-handed), 14:39 (Derek Whitmore, from Latta, short-handed).

Third Period: 8:25 Brandon Alderson (from Matt Konan & Mark Alt, Power-Play).

Overtime: 3:22 Brandon Manning (from Petr Straka & Jason Akeson).

Goalie Stats:

Grubauer stopped 25 of 29 shots, to start the season off with a save percentage of .826 and a GAA of 3.79.  Adirondack’s Yann Danis stopped 25 of 28, to start his season off at .893 and a GAA of 2.84.

Returning defenseman Chay Genoway models this year's opening night jersey.

Returning defenseman Chay Genoway models this year’s opening night jersey.

Casey Wellman takes flight while attempting to finagle a goal for Hershey.

Casey Wellman takes flight while attempting to finagle a goal for Hershey.

Hershey newcomer Derek Whitmore provides a full-body view of tonight's specialty jersey.

Hershey newcomer Derek Whitmore provides a full-body view of tonight’s specialty ensemble.  He later provided the Bears with a short-handed goal, as well.

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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