In a game that featured plenty of punching power in the early moments, including a pair of fights within the first two minutes of play, the Hershey Bears sailed by the Norfolk Admirals on the strength of four power play goals on Sunday at Giant Center, by a final score of 5-4.
Rookie Michael Dubuc, who scored the only goal of the first period 1:26 into the stanza when he beat Norfolk goaltender Craig “Killer” Kowalski, led the Hershey charge with a pair of goals. When asked whether or not he was surprised by Dubuc’s play, Head Coach Bob Woods replied, “We got a chance to see him in summer camp in Washington. He impressed everybody there, and that’s a big reason he is here now. It’s nice to see guys with offensive ability and a knack for scoring to score like he did tonight.”
Francois Bouchard, Sean Collins (GWG) and Ben Boudreau also tallied for Hershey. Hershey starting netminder Michal Neuvirth, allowed a pair of goals to Norfolk’s Daryl Boyle and Mathieu Curadeau early in the second period, but was otherwise unbeatable in 30:04 between the pipes, stopping 13 of 15 shots. Bobby Goepfert, Neuvirth’s replacement at 10:04 of the second period, surrendered goals to Norfolk’s Justin Keller and Jason Beckett in 29:48 of action, and was credited with the win.
Boudreau, son of former Hershey Bears head coach and current Washington Capitals head coach, Bruce Boudreau, talked about his first AHL game while receiving a congratulatory handshake from Hershey GM Doug Yingst: “I was worried about keeping the puck out of my own net; it was a huge bonus (to score). Watching for 3 years in the stands and then getting a chance here, it’s a lot of fun.”
Woods, who still converses with the Caps’ bench boss when he visits Chocolatetown, joked about Bruce’s presence on the night of his son’s first game as a player at Giant Center: “I had some parent coming in and giving me a hassle, saying his kid wasn’t getting enough ice time. I thought that only happened in minor hockey.”
With his youngest hockey-playing son, Brady, by his side, the proud papa quipped, “As a father, you can’t describe it; it’s pretty exciting. When my kids play, I get so darn nervous, and tonight was no exception.”