12/16/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. – Matt Ford’s second goal of the game stood up as the game-winner, and Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots en route to a 4-3 HERSHEY BEARS victory over the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night at Norfolk Scope.
The BEARS came off of a four-on-four situation with a short power play in the first period and capitalized to take the lead at 7:42. Norfolk was forced into a neutral-zone turnover that gave HERSHEY a three-on-one rush the other way. Jacob Micflikier created the turnover, then fed Matt Ford down the center lane. He and Ryan Potulny passed back and forth before Ford’s first shot was blocked. He then got his own rebound and jammed a backhander past Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski for a 1-0 lead.
Holtby was assessed a roughing call late in the frame, and at the expiration of that power play made a glove save on Mike Angelidis to keep Norfolk off of the scoresheet.
Graham Mink then scored his league-leading ninth power play goal of the season at 11:37 of the second frame, one-timing a pass from behind the net by Micflikier.
The Admirals finally solved Holtby late in the second to trigger their teddy bear toss, when Michel Ouellet took a shot that partially deflected off of a BEARS forward and trickled into the net at 16:38.
Norfolk would be handed a power play at 18:52, but with 18 seconds left in the period, Keith Aucoin blocked a shot in the defensive end and sent Chris Bourque down the left wing alone. His wrist shot beat Tokarski to the blocker side, giving the BEARS a 3-1 advantage at the second intermission.
Defense would take a brief rest in the third as three goals were scored in a span of 1:06, two by the Admirals. Cory Conacher first scored on a power play, converting the rebound of Evan Oberg’s point shot at 4:05. Ford’s second of the game came at 4:37, when his wrist shot from the right half wall sailed past a screened Tokarski. Later, with Holtby out of position after Mark Barberio’s shot from the left circle came in, Jean-Philippe Cote picked up the puck and passed to the right dot. Pierre-Cedric Labrie hurried a shot over a fallen Holtby, pulling the Admirals within one goal at 4-3.
With Tokarski on the bench for an extra attacker, the Admirals were given a power play when Ryan Potulny was whistled for boarding with 9.9 seconds remaining in regulation. But a hooking call on Labrie with 0.9 seconds left pushed the faceoff into the Admirals’ defensive zone and helped the BEARS to victory.
Holtby improved to 9-6-1 on the season with the win, while Tokarski dropped is second straight decision this week to the BEARS, making 17 saves and falling to 10-7-0.
The win gives the BEARS sole possession of second place in the East Division as the team improves to 15-7-3-2 on the campaign.
HERSHEY returns home tomorrow, December 17 to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive a BEARS car magnet courtesy of M&T Bank. Individual tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.
HERSHEY BEARS season ticket plans are also on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, with many different flexible plans still available. Season ticket plans start as low as $160.
Game Recap: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1009041