Bears Drop Another in Oates’ Final Game

On November 22, 2012, in Game Recap, by Kyle Mace

HERSHEY, PA – Tomas Kundratek skates by as Braden Holtby looks on after Wilkes-Barre scores their fourth goal of the game (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)

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 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.

More photos from the game:

Zach Hamill puts a shot on goal

Eric Tangradi goes down after taking a shot to the face

Matt Clackson lands a punch on Steve MacIntyre

Clackson chirps the Penguins bench

Benn Ferriero scores his short-handed breakaway goal

  • Brian Mills

    The Bears aren’t shooting. Rebound control for the Pens was a problem on the ones that did get through, but that didn’t seem to entice the Besrs to put more picks on net. One shot on goal in the third. Just bad.