HERSHEY, Pa. – Brandon Segal scored the game-winning goal and set up the insurance tally, while Jeff Taffe and Ryan Stoa added two points each in a 3-1 Hershey Bears victory over the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday afternoon in front of 9,186 "Super Sunday" fans at GIANT Center. The Bears have now won nine consecutive games at home.
The home team came out firing in the opening period, and was rewarded after the Admirals got into penalty trouble. Working on their second man advantage, the Bears took a 1-0 lead when Julien Brouillette ripped a shot past the blocker of Admirals netminder John Gibson at 8:21. Michael Latta and Ryan Potulny helped set up Brouillette’s ninth goal of the season.
Norfolk, held to one shot on goal for the first 13 minutes, added seven more in the final minutes. Alex Grant’s shot from the left point – on Norfolk’s second power play of the period – deflected off of a Hershey player and dipped under the glove of Philipp Grubauer at 18:39, tying the game.
The Admirals’ penalty woes continued in the middle period, as the visitors were whistled for four consecutive infractions. The Bears converted on the second of the four, when Segal got back on the score sheet. The winger stuffed the rebound of a Taffe chance from the goal line past Gibson at 10:22 for a 2-1 Bears lead.
Two penalties called against Norfolk at the same time early in the third period gave Hershey a full two minutes of a two-man advantage. Gibson made two stellar saves on the chance, including a glove save on Segal, but could not stop Taffe’s low slap shot from the right circle at the 2:56 mark.
Norfolk would get Gibson to the bench in favor of a sixth attacker but could not get a shot past Grubauer, who finished with 27 saves in the contest to improve to 7-5-1.
Gibson made 34 saves in a strong effort but was tagged with the loss, falling to 14-10-4.
The win moves the Bears (24-15-3-3) within two points of Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second-place spot in the East Division.
The Bears will go back on the road to visit the Rochester Americans on Friday, February 7 at 7:05 PM. Fans may tune in beginning at 6:25 PM on the Bears Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-AM 1460, WRBT-FM 94.9 HD-2 and iHeartRadio.
The team returns home on Saturday, February 8 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Portland Pirates. It is Chocolate-Covered February on February 8, and all fans will receive candy upon exit courtesy of the Hershey Company. Tickets for this and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Stanislav Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Patrick Wellar…The healthy scratches were D Chay Genoway, LW John Mitchell and LW Derek Whitmore…Hershey finished the night 3-for-9 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill…D Julien Brouillette’s seventh power play goal of the season moved him into second place among AHL defensemen in power-play goal scoring…The Bears have earned 145 home-ice power plays this season after today’s nine, which leads the AHL.