It’s that time again: the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came to town. While this game did not go the way we wanted it to go, it’s easy to imagine how fun a game would be with both teams at full strength.
I’ll admit that I began fearing the worst after the Penguins scored early in the first period. It took a little while for either team to get their first shot on goal, but the Penguins made their first shots efficient. They were able to get in Nolan Schaefer‘s face and covert a rebound shot.
Thankfully, the Bears were able to prevent a further deficit but they still never really got their offense going until very late in the first period. The Bears didn’t even register their first shot on goal until they had a power play halfway through the period.
The game finally started getting exciting during the second period. The Bears tied it up on the power play when Boyd Kane deflected a Brian Fahey shot. Immediately afterwards, the Bears were whistled for two penalties close together and had to kill off a 5-on-3 for almost a full two minutes. Led by Kane, Andrew Joudrey, and Sean Collins, the penalty kill unit did a fine job keeping it a tie game.
But Wilkes-Barre wouldn’t let Hershey take over and they regained the lead a few minutes later. Once again, they got in close to Schaefer and Geoff Walker scored on a nice assist from his teammate behind the net.
Even though they were behind, Hershey was definitely still in it. And they cranked it up for the third period. In the first half especially, they were getting some good shots off in attempts to tie it up.
Sadly, the game got away from them. Schaefer was screened and Joey Mormina scored to give the Penguins the insurance they need to control the game again. The Bears pulled the goalie for the final minute and a half but were unable to convert. To make things worse, the Penguins scored on the empty net. The Bears need to manage more than 16 shots on goal if they want to defeat these stronger teams. Bears lose 4-1.
- Keith Aucoin did not play today. He is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. The team is going to file for supplemental discipline against Chris Durno for the hit that injured him.
- Mark French is currently sitting on 99 career wins as a head coach. Unfortunately, the Penguins made him wait another game to try and reach that plateau. According to Tim Leone, no coach in the AHL has reached it in less than two seasons so French would be the fastest.
- It was never formally announced but with the addition of Schaefer, Jared DeMichiel was sent back down to South Carolina.
- To date, Hershey has killed off twelve penalties in a row, including four 5-on-3s.
Lines and Pairings:
Kane – Perreault – Bouchard
Greentree – Willsie – Rome
Lacroix – Joudrey – de Kastrozza
Kugryshev – Carroll – Rechlicz
McNeill – Collins
Wellar – Fahey
Actual three stars of the game:
1. Geoff Walker (WBS)
2. Brad Thiessen (WBS)
3. Boyd Kane (HER)
Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s three stars of the game:
1. Kane: scored Hershey’s only goal
2. Orlov: was not on ice for any goals against, on ice for Kane’s goal
3. Greentree: led the team in shots on goal
More photos from Kyle M.