HERSHEY, Pa. – Patrick Maroon set up three Norfolk Admirals goals, while the visitors killed off all nine power plays against them en route to a 5-1 win over the HERSHEY BEARS on Saturday night at GIANT Center. The loss snapped the BEARS' three-game winning streak and the Admirals' six-game losing skid.
The BEARS were hoping for a fast start but instead found themselves down by two goals in the first period. Emerson Etem struck for the Admirals first, one-timing a Patrick Maroon feed from the corner past the glove of Braden Holtby at 5:03.
After HERSHEY missed on two solid scoring chances on their second power play of the game, Norfolk came back and took their two-goal lead. Maroon picked up the puck off of a Frederik Andersen save and pushed it ahead for Maroon. The winger then passed to his left for Peter Holland, who sent a wrist shot off of the stick of Holtby and into the net at 11:26.
Down 2-0 at the start of the second, the BEARS were playing the puck in their defensive zone but coughed up the puck right in front of Holtby. John Mitchell deked Holtby down and deposited a backhander into the vacated net just 16 seconds into the frame, giving Norfolk a 3-0 lead.
The BEARS shrugged off that play and got the goal back just 42 seconds later. Ryan Potulny’s slap shot rung off the left goal post and deflected to Tomas Kundratek at the top of the right circle. Before Andersen could locate the puck, Kundratek fired it into the net and cut the Admirals lead to 3-1. The goal also unleashed a barrage of a record 12,497 stuffed animals in the BEARS' annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.
The BEARS would not be able to draw closer as Norfolk scored two quick third-period goals to put the game away. Etem’s second of the game was similar to his first, as he one-timed a feed from Maroon over Holtby’s glove at 14:16. Norfolk would then earn their fourth power play of the night shortly afterward, and Devante Smith-Pelly would one-time a low shot off a pass from Holland underneath Holtby at 15:22 to round out the scoring.
Andersen turned aside 29 shots to even his record at 5-5-0, while Holtby made 21 saves on 26 shots to fall to 7-7-0. The BEARS ended the night 0-for-9 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The next game for the HERSHEY BEARS is also against the Norfolk Admirals on Thursday, December 6. The two teams will square off at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. in the Washington AHL Showcase presented by GEICO at 7:00 PM. The game will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and WHTM ABC-27’s RTV channel 27.2. Fans may also listen to the game on the BEARS Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-1460 AM and WRBT-FM 94.9 HD-2, as well as on Sirius 207/XM 92 NHL Network Radio.
The BEARS return home on Saturday, December 8 for a 7:00 PM matchup against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.