If the Hershey Bears were to pick a location to open their season on the road, it likely would have been Syracuse. The last five seasons the Onondaga County War Memorial has been a very successful road rink for the Bears. Entering Saturdayís match-up, the Bears have posted a 8-1-0-1 record in Syracuse dating back to the 2007-08 season. But the winning pattern didnít hold up Saturday night as former Norfolk Admiral, Cory Conacher posted two points and earned first star honors in a 4-3 Crunch with over Hershey. It was the first opening night loss for Hershey dating back to October 2007.
Washington Capitals Coach Adam Oates joined Mark French and Troy Mann on the Hershey bench to evaluate a physical and quick opening frame. In the opening minutes Hershey pressured early looking to score to silence an enthused opening night crowd.
Within the first seven minutes Hershey jumped out to a 7-0 shot advantage on goaltender Riku Helenius. Although Hershey threatened early, Syracuse hit pay-dirt on Braden Holtby shorthanded with 8:37 left in the period. J.T. Wyman threw a sharp-angle shot that was tipped by Mike Angelidis. The deflection beat Holtby to the top-shelf, giving the Crunch a 1-0 lead going into intermission.