Oops. Yes, that was the four-lettered word Yann Danis uttered after he unintentionally assisted on the Hershey Bears winning goal that gave the guest of the Hamilton Bulldogs a 3-2 win at Copps Coliseum.
In the dying seconds of the American Hockey League game, the Bulldogs were pressing on a powerplay, hoping to score and avoid an overtime period.
But Hamilton defensemen Danny Groulx and Andre Benoit failed to file a flight plan and collided at the Hershey blueline while trying to stop the puck from rolling down the ice. The Bears’ Tomas Fleischmann scooted past the two Bulldogs trying to unravel themselves. Danis raced from his net to get the errant rubber disc and succeeded. While, kinda succeeded.
Instead of hiding the puck in his glove or under his person, he made a passing effort. The puck hit Fleischmann, Danis fell down, and the Hershey player deposited it into the vacated net with four seconds left on the clock.
Other than that it was a fine night for Danis, who felt a little abandoned in the final period when his teammates forgot the game is three 20 minute periods, not two.
The loss evened the Bulldogs record at 1-1 in the early going. They can atone for Friday’s night’s result tonight when they play the River Rats in Albany.
Friday, Hamilton opened the scoring when Corey Locke notched his first goal of the season at 6:28 of the first period. Locke took a pass from Andrei Kostitsyn, broke in alone down the right wing and slid the puck past Bears goaltender Frederic Cassivi on the far side.
Hamilton went up 2-0 at 14:38 when Ajay Baines was left alone in front of the Bears net and finished off a pass from Kyle Chipchura. The goal came on the power play and occurred just after a two-man advantage expired.
The Bears cut the lead in half when defenceman Jamie Hunt registered his first goal of the season with just 1:30 left in the period.
After a scoreless second period, Hershey tied the game when Chris Bourque scored 15:29 of the third stanza with his first goal of the season. That set up the strange finish.
Danis made 36 saves on 39 shots while Bears netminder Cassivi stopped 31 of 33 shots.
Hamilton was 1-9 on the power play while Hershey went 0-5 with the man advantage.