Press Release Details


01/11/2013 -
Friday, January 11, 2013 - 7:05 PM
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

REFEREE: Dave Lewis (#46)
LINESMEN: Ryan Daisy (#90) & Brian Oliver (#80)

BEARS vs. PENGUINS:  The HERSHEY BEARS take to the road to Wilkes-Barre Township for the beginning of a stretch of three games in three nights.  The matchup between the BEARS and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is the eighth of 12 in the regular season.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the top AHL developmental affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
ALL-TIME:  The two teams will play their 144thall-time meeting tonight, with the BEARS holding the edge at 72-60-11 (W – L/OTL – T/SOL).  HERSHEY posted a record of 5-5-1-1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season.
THE LAST TIMES:  The BEARS and Penguins last met for a pair of games immediately after the Christmas holiday, with HERSHEY coming out victorious in both meetings.  On December 26 at GIANT Center, Braden Holtby pitched his third consecutive Wednesday shutout when he stopped all 33 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory.  Garrett Mitchell got things started just 3:56 into the game, scoring his eighth of the season past Jeff Zatkoff off of an assist from Ryan Potulny.  The 1-0 lead held up all the way through the final minute of the game, when Jeff Taffe picked off a pass along the left boards and hit the empty net at 19:12.  The BEARS also finished 5-for-5 on their penalty kill.  In the home-and-home rematch on December 27 at Mohegan Sun Arena, Dany Sabourin drew the start in goal for the first time since December 7, a game also played at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Sabourin, getting the start so as to rest Holtby, stopped every shot he faced except Paul Thompson’s power-play deflection 4:52 into the third period.  The BEARS went on to post a 4-1 victory.  Mitchell scored the game’s first goal for the second consecutive night, with Taffe and Zach Hamill assisting.  Steve Oleksy’s first goal with the BEARS came at 5:50 of the second, and ended up the game-winner.  Mathieu Beaudoin added the insurance marker late in the second, and Boyd Kane ripped his sixth of the season past backup netminder Brad Thiessen late in regulation to round out the scoring.
Sun. October 28, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 3-2 W
Fri. November 9, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena 3-1 W
Sat. November 17, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 4-1 W
Wed. November 21, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 0-4 L
Fri. December 7, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena 5-4 W (OT)
Wed. December 26, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 2-0 W
Thu. December 27, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena 4-1 W
Fri. January 11, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Sun. January 20, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON HERSHEYPARK Stadium  
Sun. February 3, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center  
Fri. March 1, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Sun. April 7, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
RECENT RECAPS:  Tomas Kundratek scored twice, including the overtime winner with 26.5 seconds left, to help the BEARS earn the extra point against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday night in Connecticut.  After Johan Sundstrom tipped a shot past Dany Sabourin to start the scoring, Ryan Stoa crashed the crease to beat Kevin Poulin and tie the game.  Kundratek scored the first of his two goals off of a Ryan Potulny faceoff win, firing a slap shot inside the left post.  Colin McDonald tied the game late in the first by slipping a puck through traffic at the net front.  After a scoreless second period, Brandon DeFazio pushed the Sound Tigers ahead, pouncing on a loose puck in Sabourin’s crease after the netminder stopped a partial breakaway by McDonald.  Evan Barlow scored his second of the season to tie the game, and Kundratek completed a full-length rush in overtime in the BEARS’ 4-3 victory.
The Penguins continue to struggle offensively, although this time it was superb goaltending of Binghamton’s Robin Lehner that frustrated them on Wednesday in a 3-1 Senators victory.  The Senators managed just 15 shots on Jeff Zatkoff but got two past him – the first from Stephane Da Costa 6:27 into the game, and the second from defenseman Eric Gryba on a power play 1:00 into the third.  Paul Thompson broke Lehner’s shutout bid just 3:45 later, but Mike Hoffman sealed the win with a center-ice steal and a shot into the empty net at 18:53.
1. Syracuse 35 23 7 2 3 51 .729 127 94
2. Binghamton 33 22 8 1 2 47 .712 107 81
3. HERSHEY 35 17 16 1 1 36 .514 91 88
4. W-B/Scranton 35 15 17 2 1 33 .471 84 93
5. Norfolk 33 14 17 2 0 30 .455 83 100
HEAD TO HEAD:  BEARS forwards Zach Hamill and Jeff Taffe each have registered two goals and four assists in the season series to date, to lead the head-to-head scoring.  Garrett Mitchell, Boyd Kane and Mathieu Beaudoin have all recorded five points and are a combined plus-14 against the Penguins.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Benn Ferriero and Eric Tangradi have registered (2-3-5) each to lead the hosts’ squad, with Tangradi showing a minus-7 rating in the seven games played to date.
DESTROYING THE SAVE PERCENTAGE:  In the seven games played against the Penguins, the BEARS are averaging just 19.7 shots on goal per game – but are outscoring the Penguins 21-13 in winning six of the seven meetings.
GAME-WINNERS:  In the last four wins recorded by the BEARS against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, two have come from defensemen (Kevin Marshall, Steve Oleksy).  Forward Garrett Mitchell has the other two.
TOMAS THE TANK ENGINE:  Defenseman Tomas Kundratek is coming off his second two-goal game with the BEARS, having lit the lamp twice in Tuesday’s win at Bridgeport.  Kundratek scored in the first period, and then netted the overtime winner with 26.5 seconds left to play to earn first-star honors.
TAFFE AT THE TOP:  C Jeff Taffe has recorded a point in each of the BEARS’ three January games to maintain the team scoring lead.  Taffe shows (1-2-3) and a plus-3 rating in January, with his point total of (8-27-35) ranking tied for fourth in the AHL.  His 27 assists also rank third overall.
ANOTHER COUNTDOWN FOR KANE:  Captain Boyd Kane played in the 1,000th game of all the top professional leagues on Tuesday at Bridgeport (ECHL-71, AHL-898, NHL-31).  The native of Swift Current, SK is poised to join the ranks of just 12 other players with 900 AHL games to their credit, with his 898 games ranking 14th in league history.  In BEARS history, Kane ranks 37th in all-time games played, eight games behind Brian Willsie.  He is also just two points away from 200 in his HERSHEY career (93-105-198).
THE CLASSIC COMETH:  The next meeting between the BEARS and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be the showcase of the BEARS’ 75th season, as the teams clash at HERSHEYPARK Stadium on January 20 in the Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic.
  HERSHEY W-B/Scranton
Games Played T. Kundratek, G. Mitchell, J. Taffe (35) R. Holzapfel, W. Peters, T. Smith (35)
Goals Tomas Kundratek (11) Trevor Smith (11)
Assists Jeff Taffe (27) Beau Bennett (17)
Points Jeff Taffe (35) Beau Bennett (23)
PIMs Steve Oleksy (109) Bobby Farnham (104)
Plus/Minus Zach Hamill (+10) Tom Kuhnhackl (+3)
Power-Play Goals Tomas Kundratek (5) Eric Tangradi (6)
Shorthanded Goals Garrett Mitchell (2) Benn Ferriero (1)
Game-Winning Goals Zach Hamill (3) Paul Thompson (3)
Wins Braden Holtby (12) Jeff Zatkoff (11)
Goals-Against Average Braden Holtby (2.14) Jeff Zatkoff (2.21)
Save Percentage Braden Holtby (.932) Jeff Zatkoff (.911)
  HERSHEY Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Power Play 23-for-161 (14.3%) – 23rd in AHL 24-for-181 (13.3%) – 25th in AHL
Penalty Kill 134-for-160 (83.8%) – 15th in AHL 148-for-171 (86.5%) – 4th in AHL
1/7/13 DEL RW Alex Berry Returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/7/13 DEL RW Matt Pope Returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/7/13 ADD D Brett Flemming Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
1/7/13 ADD G Philipp Grubauer Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
1/11/13 DEL RW Keven Veilleux Reassigned by Pittsburgh (NHL) to Wheeling (ECHL)
BEARS AMONG THE AHL:                                                             
G Braden Holtby:  T,2ndshutouts (4); 3rdsave percentage (.932); 5thGAA (2.14).
C Jeff Taffe:  3rdassists (27); T,4thscoring (8-27-35).
D Tomas Kundratek:  2nd (D) – shooting percentage (11/63=17.5%); T,3rd (D) – PP goals (5); 3rd (D) – goals (11); T,16th (D) – scoring (11-9-20).
D Steve Oleksy:  5th (D) – PIM (109).
G Jeff Zatkoff:  T,4thshutouts (3); 9thGAA (2.21).
LW Beau Bennett:  T,9th (R) – scoring (6-17-23).
LW Bobby Farnham:  1st (R) – PIM (104); 2nd (R) – minor penalties (17); 2nd (R) – major penalties (8).

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