What started out as a sleepy affair, with the teams somewhat lethargic and the turnout of 2,646 obviously having taken a vow of silence, turned into a rip-snorter at the Arena last night.
It was the Bandits vs. Hershey (wouldn't you know it?) and the Bears were pressed to escape with a 5-2 victory after being spotted two goals.
Down those two scores after a period, the Bandits energized, as did the fans, but simply couldn't get the equalizing goal past Hershey goalie Dominic Roussel, sent down by the Philadelphia Flyers to log some playing time.
As they threw caution to the wind in an attempt to tie the game at 3-3 for 10 minutes in the third period, the Bandits gave up a couple of late goals before hotter heads prevailed.
Once the Bears had their fifth goal, the gloves dropped to the ice and everybody but the equipment managers, it seems, got into it.
The win extended Hershey's unbeaten streak to eight games (5-0-3), longest in more than a year, and coach Bill Barber said it has been a result of his gang "pulling together. The forwards are doing the job helping the defensemen and when that happens things fall in place.
"Mainly, we had to try to shut teams down [on shots on goal], which we did tonight, allowing them 24. Before we were giving up shots in the high-30s."
The Bears are even with Baltimore at 4-4-1 in the season series.
The Bandits gave up a power- play goal, the only one of 11 tried during the game, midway in the first period. The killer was when Scott Morrow simply skated up to Bandits defenseman Bobby Marshall in the right corner, muscled the puck away from him, turned and returned to the goal, where he beat Mike O'Neill from in close. A two-goal deficit proved too large for the home team all night.