Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/15/14

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing the New York Rangers on February 4, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
AHL Showcase- It is almost the holidays but that is not what created the festive atmosphere at Verizon Center last night. The ice was down and ready for a hockey game in Washington, DC. The Hershey Bears vs the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL Showcase was on tap for a sold out crowd of 18,506. Braden Holtby and Dmitry Orlov felt right at home and received huge ovations pre-game. But the comfort quickly dissipated as the first Norfolk shot of the game hit the twine over Holtby’s glove hand ten seconds into the game. Brandon McMillan launched a shot with a defenseman in front just inside the blue line that eluded Holtby. Both teams exchanged powerplays but came up empty through the middle of the first period.  At 13:54 Evan Barlow received a cross ice pass and buried it top right against Anderson to tie the game at 1.The period finished with an Admirals power play which gave some sustained pressure in the Hershey zone but Holtby stood strong until the horn.   The second period opened with some more back in forth play. Chances were pretty even at both ends of the ice but the teams started to get chippy after the whistle. The Bears and Admirals powerplay had yet to strike in a combined 10 attempts. The second period ended with Hershey having a one shot lead with a total of 20. The Bears were without Dmitry Orlov who suffered an upper body injury in the first period and would not return to the game.   The Bears got an early power play in the third on an Admirals cross checking penalty. This seemed to help Hershey set the tone early in the third. Play seemed to even out 5 on 5 with some rushes both ways. At 4:26 into the third period Ryan Potulny potted one in the back of the net to give the Bears a 2-1 lead. It was a shot from low in the circle that beat Anderson high. The Bears ended up with another powerplay midway through the stanza but just couldn’t break the powerplay drought. The Admirals started to apply pressure on Hershey but then a late penalty by Norfolk slowed that effort. Norfolk got Anderson to the bench and had a great chance with 20 seconds remaining on the clock but Holtby was square and swallowed it up. One last faceoff and the victory was sealed. Ryan Potulny earned first star honors with the game wining goal and Evan Barlow followed as the second star with his first period tally. Holtby earned the third star with 26 saves on 27 shots on the night. The Bears tallied 30 shots to Norfolk’s 27 in the game. Neither team could take advantage of the man advantage as Hershey went 0 for 8 and Norfolk 0 for 6. A very entertaining game was played for all the hockey starved fans in DC and they appreciated it greatly. The building was pretty loud for being of mixed company and Bears chants could be heard throughout the game.  Photo Courtesy of Carl Minieri   Evan Barlow- Evan Barlow’s one timer goal while practically falling to the ice in the first period of the AHL Showcase capped a great 2 weeks for him. Since being called up from Reading Evan has certainly been a key part of the speed that Hershey needs in their transition game.  His snap shot off of Zach Hamill’s cross ice pass was perfectly placed above Anderson’s glove. Evan has 15 points in his 13 games with Reading this season and 3 points in 5 games with Hershey.    Photo Courtesy of Carl Minieri     12,501-It has become a tradition in Hershey to have a Teddy Bear Toss to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. The game has created its own playoff atmosphere as all in attendance wait for that first Bears goal to launch bear after bear onto the ice. I wonder if the players get jacked up to try to be the one to start the stuffed animal bedlam. This year Kundratek won the pool with his second period goal and started the onslaught of 12,501 towards the ice. As a fan it is one of my favorite nights. The cause is wonderful and the childlike innocence of throwing a stuffed animal is unique and special. I also enjoy being absolutely pummeled by them as the animals that fall short of the ice usually cover the attendees in the first 5 or 6 rows. A sight to be seen but even better to experience.       Go Bears.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Packers trade up to draft Brett Hundley

Greg Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Mayweather bans Rachel Nichols, Michelle Beadle from covering fight

Five takeaways from Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Brooklyn Decker expecting first child with Andy Roddick

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Celebrities make their picks

Ryan Succop offers to arm-wrestle Marcus Mariota for No. 8

Laila Ali rips Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.