10/03/2009 - HATS OFF TO ANDREW GORDON IN HOME OPENER
Three Goal Night Gives Hershey the Win
By Jess Mikula
Before a crowd 10,075 strong, the BEARS opened the 2009-2010 season with a decisive 3-1 victory over the Norfolk Admirals Saturday night. Three different BEARS registered a multi-point effort in the win.
The BEARS' top line struck twice in the first period, with Andrew Gordon netting a pair of power play markers. Gordon lifted a pass from Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux past Admirals netminder Dustin Tokarski to put HERSHEY on the board at 3:12. He then hammered home a rebound at 15:12 to give the home team a two-goal lead. Aucoin and Giroux again added the assists. After 20 minutes of play, the BEARS led the Admirals by a 2-0 margin.
Neither team would find the back of the net in the second stanza. The Chocolate and White maintained an 18-14 shot advantage and a two-goal lead through two periods.
Norfolk found the score sheet early in the third period, as Blair Jones potted a goal for the visiting Admirals at 2:52. Andrew Gordon answered with a backhand to finish his hat trick at 9:30. John Carlson and Giroux tallied the assists.
The BEARS went 3-for-6 on the man advantage and killed all four Norfolk power plays Saturday night. Braden Holtby earned his first AHL win in net, turning aside 23 of 24 shots.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Andrew Gordon (three goals)
2. Alexandre Giroux (three assists)
3. Keith Aucoin (two assists)
Notes: The BEARS hit the road for a two-game road trip next Friday night at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Penguins at 7:05 p.m. HERSHEY will then take on the Binghamton Senators next Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. before hosting the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday, October 11. Note the start time of 7:00 p.m. on October 11, due to the conversion at Giant Center from the Antique Auto festivities in Hershey next week. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth, listed as day-to-day, did not dress for Saturday's regular season opener. The start for Holtby was his first-ever American Hockey League start. Nineteen players who played in the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs for Hershey last spring began the season Saturday on the club's opening night roster. Former BEARS center Ryan Craig played for Norfolk Saturday night after being assigned this past week from Tampa Bay.