09/28/2008 - By: John Walton
HERSHEY opened the preseason on Sunday with a 5-4 win over the Norfolk Admirals at GIANT Center. It was a win that may not have counted in the standings, but don't tell Ben Boudreau that.
The BEARS scored first Sunday with a goal from rookie Michael Dubuc just 1:26 into the game, and it proved to be the only goal of the first period. Norfolk would take a 2-1 lead early in the second by scoring a pair of goals in the first 1:18. Daryl Boyle scored just 16 seconds into the second to tie the game, and Mathieu Curadeau popped one past Michal Neuvirth to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead.
It's not often a touching moment occurs in a game that doesn't count in the standings, but the goal that tied the game at the 4:58 mark of the second certainly would qualify. Ben Boudreau, son of Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, picked up a puck in the right circle and fired a wrist shot past Norfolk goaltender Craig Kowalski for his first goal of the preseason. The power play marker tied the game at 2-2, and the BEARS never trailed again. For Boudreau, with his dad looking on from above, the goal represented his first professional tally. Francois Bouchard scored his first of the preseason at 11:07 of the second, and HERSHEY took a 3-2 lead into the dressing room after two.
Norfolk again scored early to tie the game at 3-3 when Justin Keller scored his first of the exhibition slate, but Dubuc then scored his second of the game a few minutes later to give the Chocolate and White the lead. Sean Collins buried a one-timer from Colin Nicholson at 10:53 to increase the lead to 5-3, and Jason Beckett rounded out the scoring with a goal for Norfolk at 16:27. The BEARS improve to 1-0 on the preseason, with goaltender Bobby Goepfert picking up the victory.
Notes: The BEARS will continue the club's exhibition season Friday night in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Penguins. Face-off at Wachovia Arena is at 7:05 p.m., and can be heard online at www.sportsjuice.com. Jay Beagle was a late scratch for the game, and was replaced by Kyle Wilson. Many regulars for Hershey, including Graham Mink and Dean Arsene, did not play.