03/14/2009 - BEARS DEFROST PENGUINS
Mink Scores Twice in Victory
By Jess Mikula
With Graham Mink leading the offense, the BEARS defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a score of 3-2 before a sellout crowd in Giant Center Saturday night.
Amidst a playoff-like atmosphere, the BEARS and Penguins came out fighting, though neither team found the score sheet in the first period. Sprawled on the ice in front of the net, HERSHEY backstop Simeon Varlamov made a seemingly impossible save on a shot from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Dustin Jeffrey late in the period. Varlamov kept the game scoreless, despite three Baby Pen power plays in the first 20 minutes.
The BEARS found the back of the net twice in the second period, with Mink potting his 29th and 30th goals of the season. Mink's first of the night came at 13:30 when he deflected a shot from Jay Beagle. Oskar Osala added the secondary assist. With Alex Goligoski in the penalty box for a hooking infraction, Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque set up Mink for his second of the game at 19:45. HERSHEY carried a two-goal advantage to the dressing room after two.
Crashing the net early in the third period, Grant McNeill finished a shot from Andrew Joudrey and Steve Pinizzotto for his second goal of the season at 3:40. Two quick goals put the Penguins back within one goal. With Osala in the box for hooking, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored on a Mark Letestu wrister at 5:28. Deryk Engelland then tipped in a pass from Letestu at 6:59 to make the score 3-2. Giroux was awarded a penalty shot after he was pulled down by Ben Lovejoy at 7:34 of the third, but his shot sailed wide of the net. Neither team would score through the remainder of regulation.
The BEARS went 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill Saturday night. Simeon Varlamov earned his 18th win in net this season, turning aside 29 of 31 shots.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Graham Mink (two-goal effort)
2. Simeon Varlamov (29 saves on 31 shots)
3. Grant McNeill (scored the game-winning goal)
Notes: The BEARS will welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to GIANT Center Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Sunday's game closes out a three-game home stand for HERSHEY. The Chocolate and White will play three games in New England next weekend at Lowell, Portland and Manchester. Center Keith Aucoin was recalled by Washington Saturday morning and played for the Capitals against the Carolina Hurricanes.