Adam Oates is gone, but the Hershey Bears slump remains. Following Wednesday night’s 4-0 loss to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, the Washington Capitals announced that Caps head coach and Hershey Bears co-coach Adam Oates would no longer be on the Bears bench. Oates had been in Hershey and on the Bears bench for every game this season. Members of the Caps staff will also return to Washington.
The story was first reported by washcaps.com reporter Mike Vogel. The decision was apparently made days before the Bears loss to Wilkes-Barre.
Many Bears fans felt there were too many coaches trying to give input to a struggling team. Although it first appeared that the players might welcome the chance to impress the Caps coach
The Thanksgiving Eve Giant Center crowd was one of the loudest of the year, but they quickly grew frustrated with the lack of offense from the Bears. Hershey played a solid first period and hustled to the puck, but the Penguins took advantage of two power plays to take a second period lead on Hershey.
The Baby Pens first tally came off the stick of Beau Bennett, who’s shot deflected off a Bears skate and past Braden Holtby for a 1-0 lead.
One minute and one second later Simon Despres snapped a wrist shot past Braden Holtby to give the Pens a 2-0 advantage. They would add a breakaway shorthanded goal by Benn Ferriero and add one more late in the game to hand the Bears a 4-0 shutout loss.
The two power play goals were the difference early,” said Coach Mark French. “Our power play generated chances, but we weren’t able to finish.”
“The lack of execution was more disappointing than the lack of effort. We had some rushes (on the power play) but it didn’t generate a shot. We obviously need to have a better shot mentality in those situations.”
The Bears have now lost five of their last six games. Despite the slump, Hershey is just five points behind second place Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
The Bears will be off until Saturday when they play in Adirondack. Sunday night marks the return of one of Hershey’s all-time greats, Keith Aucoin, who now leads the Toronto Marlies in scoring. Face off Sunday night is at 5pm at Giant Center.