FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2012
CONTACT: Scott Stuccio – HERSHEY BEARS – (717) 903-8448
HOLTBY STELLAR BUT BEARS FALL TO ADMIRALS
NORFOLK, Va. – Braden Holtby made 44 saves but Pierre-Cedric Labrie was one of two players to beat him, helping the Norfolk Admirals to a 2-1 victory over the HERSHEY BEARS on Friday night at Norfolk Scope. It was the BEARS’ fourth consecutive loss in regulation.
The two teams played a penalty-filled first period, with the Admirals earning four power-play opportunities and the BEARS three. Each squad’s penalty kill stood tall, with Braden Holtby standing out with 12 saves in the frame.
The Admirals would break the scoreless deadlock on an odd-man rush. Mike Kostka’s headman pass was collected by Richard Panik, whose stickhandling got him alone at the top of Holtby’s crease. The BEARS backstop made a save on Panik and fell back on top of the puck, but Carter Ashton beat the referee’s whistle and backhanded the loose puck home at 11:32 of the second period.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, a seemingly harmless dump-in by the BEARS came behind the goal, where Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski came out to play the puck. With pressure from Cody Eakin, Tokarski pushed the puck toward the front of the open goal, and Jacob Micflikier pounced on it to draw the BEARS even at 6:30.
But at the halfway point of regulation, the Admirals created a three-on-one rush into the BEARS’ zone. Trevor Smith fed Cory Conacher with a pass across the crease, and Holtby did a split to make the save. The rebound just eluded him, and Labrie chipped the rebound into the net at 10:04 for the game-winning tally.
Tokarski picked up his first win against the BEARS this season, stopping 29 shots to improve to 18-9-0. Holtby took the tough loss and fell to 14-11-1.
The BEARS finished the night by killing off all nine Norfolk power plays, but were 0-for-6 on their own man advantage.
The BEARS (24-12-4-3) and Admirals (26-15-1-2) are now tied for second place in the East Division, each holding 55 points.
The teams will battle again tomorrow, January 28 at 7:15 PM.
The BEARS return to GIANT Center on Saturday, February 4 for a 7:00 PM matchup against the Connecticut Whale. Individual tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.