Photo via the St. John’s IceCaps
Wednesday evening the Hershey Bears completed a two day sweep at Mile One Centre over the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Ten different Bears inked the score sheet, and Braden Holtby earned his 12th career shutout in a Hershey uniform leading to a 4-0 victory.
In an even matched opening stanza where the St. John’s IceCaps saw two glorious shorthanded chances, Hershey’s power play proved to prevail. All season long when looking to capitalize, the Bears seem to look for an open backdoor in the offensive zone. With 48 seconds remaining in the scoreless first period, Zach Hamill tallied after sneaking into a wide open backdoor towards the bottom of the right face off circle.
Mike Carman connected with a crisp pass to Hamill leading to a beat St. John’s goaltender, and a 1-0 lead for Hershey after 20 minutes. At the time being, it was the Bears’ fourth power play goal in their last seven periods.
Into the middle frame, the Chocolate and White began to open a goal scoring parade all over St. John’s. Only 2:46 into the period, Alex Berry was left wide open between the hash-marks near the low-slot. He one-timed a shot over the glove of Mark Dekanich, into the cage to double Hershey’s lead. It proved to be the first even-strength goal scored by either side at The Rock this season when facing one-another.
With 3:52 remaining in the period, Mathieu Beaudoin received similar fortune to Berry and was left wide open in front of Dekanich. Similar to Berry, Beaudoin capitalized with a quick slap shot to the roof of the net.
Hershey started the goal scoring marathon with a power play goal, and turned to the man-advantage again to close the night’s goal fest. On a 4-on-3 advantage in the final minute of the period, Jon Disalvatore was fed a cross-ice pass on the doorstep of the net by Jeff Taffe. DiSalvatore tallied into an open net, extending Taffe’s assist streak to five consecutive games.
The Bears carried a commanding 4-0 lead into the final period, where Braden Holtby would guide his team the rest of the way with 13 third period saves. Hershey’s win put them over the .500 mark for the first time since November 9th, and improved their road record to 8-5-0-0.