HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny and Jacob Micflikier scored two goals each and Braden Holtby made 34 saves, helping the HERSHEY BEARS to a convincing 5-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
After a good back-and-forth battle through most of the first period, the BEARS got the jump at the 14:00 mark. Patrick Wellar stepped up in the neutral zone to push the puck down the right wing. Chris Bourque caught the pass, pulled up and fired a wrist shot into traffic that was tipped behind goaltender Brad Thiessen by Ryan Potulny.
Just 1:39 later, while working a power play, the BEARS took a 2-0 lead. Patrick McNeill sent a pass from the left point to the right wall for Bourque, who again found a teammate’s stick as Jacob Micflikier deflected the pass high into the net.
The Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble again early in the second, and the BEARS made them pay. At 2:01, McNeill’s point shot was deflected through Thiessen’s pads by Micflikier, giving the BEARS a 3-0 lead.
Later in the period, the BEARS would earn seven minutes of power play time after Brandon DeFazio jumped Tomas Kundratek behind the play. The Penguins were able to kill off the entire disadvantage, including two minutes of a BEARS two-man advantage when Matt Rust was called for delay of game.
A line that has been very solid for HERSHEY as of late connected for the fourth consecutive game, when D.J. King made a backhand pass through the goal crease which Garrett Mitchell was able to tap home at 2:30 of the third period.
Jason Williams finally broke Holtby’s shutout bid when he drove the middle lane and tipped a Ben Street pass over Holtby’s shoulder at 11:19.
Potulny then added his second of the night on a turnover by Penguins defenseman Alexandre Picard. The puck slid to Potulny off of Picard’s stick, and the center turned and fired a wrist shot through traffic and past Thiessen at 14:53, closing out the scoring.
Holtby won his third straight start, improving to 18-11-1. Thiessen drops to 20-13-2, making 28 saves on 33 shots. The BEARS ended the night 2-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS hit the road for five consecutive games, beginning Friday, February 17 with a 7:05 PM faceoff in Rhode Island as they battle the Providence Bruins. The team returns home to host the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday, February 25 with faceoff at 7:00 PM. Individual tickets for this and all regular-season home games are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.