Hartford Wolf Pack Top Hershey Bears via thehockeywriters.com

After three years as the Connecticut Whale, the Hartford Wolf Pack is celebrating its return to a more predatory moniker by preying on the Hershey Bears. No offense to whales, but an entire pack of bloodthirsty wolves is much scarier than a pod of marine mammals, and Hartford lived up to its name change at Saturday’s game. Hartford battled through a second period deficit to come out of Giant Center with a 4-3 victory over Hershey.

Hoping for the first home win since last spring, 8,001 fans cheered on the Bears at the Giant Center. Lighting the lamp first, Bears’ Assistant Captain Taffe found the back of the net with a little help from Dmitry Orlov who tallied his fifth point in two games. Late in the first, by freak accident or sheer force from the 210-pound d-man, Orlov’s stick snapped in two allowing Wolf Pack Center Oscar Lindberg to score.

Hershey Bears Defenseman Chay Genoway moments after scoring. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)
Hershey Bears Defenseman Chay Genoway moments after scoring. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

Hartford opened the second period by scoring on a Power Play, but Hershey answered with two consecutive goals. Blueliner Chay Genoway scored with an assist from Connor Carrick and Tyler Ruegsegger, followed by a goal from Michael Latta who got the assist from  Tyson Strachan and Matt Watkins.

“We couldn’t seem to get any flow to our game and it definitely showed.”

The Chocolate and White strolled into the third period leading 3-2, which was about the same time that the Wolf Pack’s killer instincts kicked in. New York Rangers forward prospect Danny Kristo sunk one in on a power-play at the front end of the third, followed only five minutes later by a snap shot from Andrew Yogan. Although they had 11 minutes and 33 seconds to retaliate, this Bear Sleuth couldn’t muster the strength to tie the game. Holding last place in the East Division, Saturday’s loss dropped the Bears to a 1-3-1-0 record through five games.

Hartford celebrates after a goal by the Wolf Pack. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

“It’s just unacceptable coming out in the third period like that,” Genoway said after Saturday’s loss. “We’ve got to learn to react better when the other team scores or ties the game up… We talked a lot in the second period. All the right things were said. We just came out flat. We couldn’t seem to get any flow to our game and it definitely showed.”

“We took another lazy penalty and they score a goal on it,” Bears head coach Mike Haviland said. “We seemed to get back on our heels a little bit. And then, again, we decide to play the last four minutes and go after them a little bit.”

“We have to go after teams all the time. And it has to be in waves and it has to be everybody and it can’t be three or four guys. We had too many passengers tonight. You can’t play the game with passengers. We need everybody on board.”

Not All Heartache Last Night

While a rough night for the Bears, there are two happier occurrences to note about Saturday’s game. The first being that the super young anthemist totally nailed The National Anthem. And the second was Coco the Bear looking on as a Hershey fan get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend—she said yes! Now that your heart has warmed slightly, remember that the Hershey Bears close their weekend series by facing the Norfolk Admirals today at the Giant Center at 5pm.

Originally posted to http://thehockeywriters.com/hartford-wolf-pack-drop-hershey-4-3/ by Annie Erling Gofus

Hershey Adds Unsigned Aussie to Training Camp Roster

Finally, we can see the puck at the end of the hot, humid tunnel we call summer. With the NHL deep into training camps, the AHL is filling its rosters and prepping to kick off camps of its own.

On the same day the Hershey Bears announced their 2013 training camp schedule, a dozen players hit the ice at Giant Center. Last Friday, Derek Whitmore, Julien Brouillette, Peter LeBlanc, Chay Genoway, Patrick Wellar, Jamie Johnson, Brett Flemming, Matt Watkins, Brandon Segal, Nicolas Deschamps, Josh Brittain and goalie Brandon Anderson pulled on their skates to warm-up for the start of this week’s training camp.

The entire group, excluding Brittain, had participated in the Washington Capital’s training camp before being assigned to the Bears late last week or over the weekend. The Caps started their 2013-2014 training camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September 12th, and assigned a handful of players to Hershey since then. Players at the Kettler Iceplex got a sneak peek of new Bears head coach Mike Haviland during on-ice practices. Haviland and Bears assistant coach Ryan Mougenel led a practice group that was numbered with Hershey players, including Jamie Johnson, Derek Whitmore, Matt Watkins and Chay Genoway.

“I really liked Whitmore and Watkins and Johnson,” Haviland said. “Those three guys looked pretty good today together in doing some of their line stuff. Genoway can really skate on the back end. I was pleasantly surprised with all four of those guys for me.”

Most recently, Jeff Taffe, Ryan Stoa, Casey Wellman and Nathan Walker were sent to the Hershey Bears on Saturday. While many of these players were expected to don the chocolate and white for the 2013-2014 season, Walker was a surprise pick from the Capital’s training camp.

 Walker Hopes to be First Australian NHL Player

One of 40 forwards listed on the Capitals’ training camp roster, Walker, 19, is still unsigned but will report to Hershey for camp on Monday. The 5’10”, 185-pound Australian hopes to be the first Aussie to play in the NHL—a league dominated by players who typically hail from much colder climates with far less marsupials. Walker was expected to play for Youngstown in the USHL this season, but had a strong showing at Washington’s training camp as an unsigned invitee. Born in Great Britain, Walker’s family relocated to Australia when he was 2-years-old. Realizing his Australian home was dominated by soccer and surf, Walker made the move to icier climates to hone his hockey skills.

“When I was 13, that’s when I decided I really wanted to take a shot at this, so I went overseas [to the Czech Republic] to learn and play the game,” Walker said.

Walker, nicknamed Stormy for his aggressive playing style, spent six seasons developing his game in the Czech Republic. Before joining the Youngstown Phantoms in January 2013, Walker played the past two seasons with HC Vitkovice in the top Czech professional league. Depending on how training camp goes, Hershey fans might have the opportunity to see this Wonder from Down Under in action at the Giant Center starting in October.

Before the Bears start training Monday, more assignments are expected from Washington.The Capitals’ roster must be trimmed from 70 to 23 players by Monday, September 30th. The Bears are slated to report for meetings and physicals on Monday, with the first on-ice session starting Tuesday at Hersheypark Arena. Hershey opens its three-game exhibition when the new Utica Comets visit Giant Center this Friday night, September 27th.

Originally posted to http://thehockeywriters.com/hershey-adds-unsigned-aussie-training-camp-roster/ by Annie Erling Gofus

Featured Image via Penn Live