ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – Jon DiSalvatore tallied one goal and one assist, Ryan Potulny had two assists and Braden Holtby made 30 saves for his 12th career HERSHEY BEARS shutout as the visitors blanked the St. John’s IceCaps 4-0 on Wednesday night at Mile One Centre.
After an even battle for most of the first period the IceCaps got into penalty trouble late, taking three penalties in the final 4:54 of the frame, including a double minor whistled against Ray Sawada. On the first half of that power play, the BEARS converted when Zach Hamill slapped a cross-crease pass from Jon DiSalvatore behind IceCaps netminder Mark Dekanich at 19:12 for a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second, hard cycling work by the BEARS’ fourth line opened up a 2-0 lead. Matt Pope first tipped a feed to Mike Carman, who gave the puck back to Pope deep in the corner. Pope then cycled a pass for Carman, who promptly fed a pass to an uncovered Alex Berry at the top of the crease. Berry ripped a shot into the upper-left corner at 2:46 for his second goal of the season.
HERSHEY grabbed a 3-0 lead when Boyd Kane made a pass to Mattias Sjogren from in the right corner. Kane headed to the net to screen Dekanich, while Mathieu Beaudoin grabbed a pass from Sjogren and snapped it high glove side at 16:08.
The BEARS rounded out the scoring with under 10 seconds left in the second period. Not long after coincidental penalties were whistled on Derek Meech and Tomas Kundratek, Maxime Macenauer was called for interference, giving HERSHEY a four-on-three power play. They wasted no time in converting, as 11 seconds into the advantage, Jeff Taffe sent a backdoor pass to DiSalvatore for an easy score and a 4-0 lead.
St. John’s outshot the BEARS 13-5 in the final period, but Holtby stood up to the task and backstopped his team to victory. He improves to 10-8-0, earning his 71st career HERSHEY victory in the process and tying Phil Sauve for seventh place on the BEARS’ all-time goaltender wins list. The shutout was the 12th of Holtby’s HERSHEY career, tying him with Andre Gill for fifth place in team history. Dekanich fell to 5-5-0, turning aside 21 of 25 shots.
The BEARS move to 13-12-1-0 with the win, and have extended their road winning streak to five games.
The BEARS return home to take on the Worcester Sharks on Saturday, December 15 at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive an Outdoor Classic edition Coco bobblehead courtesy of Capital BlueCross. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.