- BEARS SINK ADMIRALS
Kyle Wilson Records Three-Point Effort in Preseason Finale
By Jess Mikula
In a thrilling preview to Saturday's regular season opener, HERSHEY battled to defeat the Norfolk Admirals in a 4-3 overtime decision at GIANT Center Sunday night.
The BEARS struck first on the man advantage, as Kyle Wilson buried a wrister from the right circle at 5:33. Patrick McNeill and John Carlson tallied the assists. Anton Gustaffsson nearly potted a second power play marker midway through the period, his shot ringing off the post. HERSHEY out-shot Norfolk by a 7-6 margin and killed three Admiral power plays to hold a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Darren Reid increased the Chocolate and White's lead to two goals early in the second period, beating Norfolk's Vladimir Mihalik on a breakaway at 3:39. Scott Langdon and Bryan Helmer registered the helpers. The visiting team found the back of the net at 9:19, with Juraj Simek going top shelf on goaltender Jason Bicashihua to put the Admirals on the score sheet. Just after a Norfolk goaltending change midway through the period, the BEARS were denied twice by netminder Jaroslav Janus. Gavin Morgan was stopped on a breakaway chance out of the penalty box before Janus dove across the crease to make a stick save on Oskar Osala's follow-up attempt. HERSHEY carried a one-goal advantage to the dressing room after two.
Norfolk knotted the score at two, with Matt Dias beating a diving Bicashihua at 2:31 of the third period. The Admirals took the lead for the first time Sunday night with a goal from Tommy Goebel at 12:46. With 36 seconds left in the game, Wilson evened the score for the BEARS to force overtime, assisted by Andrew Gordon and McNeill.
Former captain Boyd Kane would be the hero for the Chocolate and White Sunday, firing the puck past Janus for the game winner from Wilson and McNeill at 3:22 of overtime.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Kyle Wilson (two goals, one assist)
2. Boyd Kane (overtime game-winning goal)
3. Darren Reid (one goal)
Notes: The BEARS will officially begin the club's 72nd season in the American Hockey League Saturday night when the Admirals return to Giant Center
for the 2009-10 regular season opener. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m., with pregame ceremonies honoring last season's Calder Cup champions held prior to puck drop. The Washington Capitals closed the preseason Sunday with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Chris Bourque scored a second period goal in the winning effort. Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux did not play in Sunday's preseason finale for the Red, White and Blue.