Press Release Details

TONIGHT'S GAME PREVIEW: BEARS at PENGUINS


03/01/2013 -
TONIGHT’S GAME NOTES
 
HERSHEY BEARS at WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
Friday, March 1, 2013 - 7:05 PM
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

REFEREE: Trevor Hanson (#47)
LINESMEN: Bob Goodman (#90) & Jud Ritter (#34)

BEARS vs. PENGUINS:  The HERSHEY BEARS kick off the month of March on the road tonight against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  The two rivals meet for the 11th time this season, with one final matchup slated for early April.  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 TIME:  The BEARS and Penguins last met on Super Bowl Sunday, and for the second time in two weeks, the Penguins came out on top by a 2-1 score in overtime.  Winning the game for the visitors was forward Chad Kolarik, who capped off the Penguins’ fourth power play opportunity of the afternoon with a goal in the waning seconds of the extra session.  After HERSHEY outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by a 10-8 count in the first period, Boyd Kane started the scoring off for the BEARS, tallying on the man advantage at 9:34 of the second period.  Julien Brouillette assisted, as did Casey Wellman – the forward’s first point with his new team.  The Penguins battled back to outshoot the BEARS 14-8 in the middle stanza but could not solve Dany Sabourin.  Riley Holzapfel finally did at the 12:03 mark of the third, stuffing a shot home off of a goalmouth scramble for his 15th goal of the season.  Kolarik’s heroics came when the All-Star took a pass from Trevor Smith and ripped a one-timer inside the right post with just over 10 seconds left in overtime.  Sabourin picked up the game’s second star honor with 37 saves in the game.  Jeff Zatkoff turned aside 20 of 21 BEARS shots.
 
 
2012-13 SEASON SERIES:
Sun. October 28, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANTCenter 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 0-1 L
Sun. January 20, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON HERSHEYPARK Stadium 1-2 OTL
Sun. February 3, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 1-2 OTL
Fri. March 1, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Sun. April 7, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
                               
RECENT RECAPS:  The BEARS have been idle since Sunday, the day featuring the team’s final neutral-site game of 2012-13.  At Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, Casey Wellman bagged two goals and two assists to factor into all of the team’s offense, but the host Albany Devils erupted for two goals in each period en route to a 6-4 victory.  The BEARS fell behind 2-0 after the first period on goals by Mike Hoeffel and Joe Whitney, and then were down 3-0 just nine seconds into the middle period on a goal by Mike Sislo.  The team then battled back to within one, getting a power-play goal from Ryan Potulny and an even-strength goal from Wellman.  The Devils re-claimed their two-goal lead on a power play, via Whitney’s second of the game, and then made it 5-2 on Sislo’s second of the night just 3:35 into the third.  Wellman would bury his second of the contest exactly one minute later and Ryan Stoa’s power play goal again cut the BEARS deficit to one goal, but Matt Anderson’s lamp-lighter with 6:53 left to play rounded out the scoring.  For the third consecutive game, the BEARS struck twice on the power play.  The team finished their neutral-site record this season with a mark of 1-1-1-0.
 
The Penguins are coming off of a 2-1 setback to the Norfolk Admirals at Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday night.  Veteran forward Tom Kostopoulos scored his second of the season 7:33 into the second to give the hosts a 1-0 lead, finally solving Norfolk netminder Frederik Andersen.  It would be the only blemish on Andersen’s night, as Brandon McMillan netted the tying power play goal at 19:09 of the second period.  Late in the third, on a Jeff Zatkoff turnover behind the Penguins net, Dan Sexton centered for Josh Brittain who had a tap-in game-winner with 6:20 left in regulation.  The Penguins had good chances to get the equalizer when the team was given two power plays in the final 4:21, but the Admirals held on for the victory.
 
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of March 1):
POS TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS WIN% GF GA
1. Syracuse 54 34 14 2 4 74 .685 190 142
2. Binghamton 53 31 17 1 4 67 .632 160 136
3. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 55 29 23 2 1 61 .555 128 125
4. HERSHEY 54 25 21 3 5 58 .537 140 134
5. Norfolk 53 24 25 3 1 52 .491 125 149
HEAD TO HEAD:  BEARS center Jeff Taffe leads the head-to-head scoring in the season series, tallying seven points (2-5-7) in 10 games.  For the Penguins, Riley Holzapfel has put up five points (3-2-5) to lead the way.  Boyd Kane and Garrett Mitchell have four goals each against the Penguins this season.
 
WELL-LIKED:  C Casey Wellman, returned from Washington on Thursday, became the third BEARS player to record a four-point game this season with his effort on Sunday at Atlantic City against Albany (2-2-4).  Garrett Stafford (0-4-4) and Jeff Taffe (1-3-4) both accomplished the task on October 20 against Rochester.  Wellman is producing at more than a point-per-game (3-9-12 in 11 games) since joining the BEARS on January 31.  Prior to coming to Chocolatetown in exchange for Zach Hamill, Wellman had registered 23 points (7-16-23) in 37 contests with the San Antonio Rampage.  He also enters the weekend on a five-game point streak (3-5-8).
 
PETER’S PUTTING UP POINTS:  Wellman’s fellow new teammate C Peter LeBlanc has also contributed offensively.  With his assist on Sunday, LeBlanc has strung together points in four consecutive games (1-4-5).  He has also recorded points in five of his last six, and has nine points (1-8-9) in 11 games since his arrival from the Rockford IceHogs on January 31 in exchange for Mathieu Beaudoin.
 
ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP:  C Jeff Taffe’s two assists over the weekend keeps him at the top of the AHL’s assist leaderboard (34).  His four points also pushed him into a tie for seventh place in the AHL scoring race (12-34-46), just seven points off of the top spot.
 
POWER PLAY PRODUCING:  The BEARS scored six times on the power play in the team’s three weekend games to end February, with an efficiency rate of 33.3% (6-for-18).  Scoring at least one power play goal in all but one February road game, the BEARS now rank sixth in road success (20-for-98, 20.4%) and 11th overall (44-for-242, 18.2%).  The BEARS face the top penalty-killing unit in the league tonight, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton boasts 230-of-261 kills (88.1%).
 
PK MORE THAN OK:  The BEARS allowed just five power play goals during February, a success rate of 89.6%.  The team ranks fourth in road penalty killing (86.4%) and ninth overall (85.2%).  HERSHEY also scored two shorthanded goals in the last four games of the month.
 
TWO-TO-ONE:  Of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 55 games played, one-fifth (11) of them have ended in a final score of 2-1.  The team has played four consecutive games that have ended 2-1, and are 3-1-0-0 in them.  The last two games between HERSHEY and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ended with 2-1 overtime victories for the Penguins.  HERSHEY has also seen that score quite frequently – in nine of the BEARS’ 54 games played (3-3-3-0).
 
DAZZLING DEBUT:  G Philipp Grubauer was recalled to Washington on Wednesday and made his NHL debut the same night at Wells Fargo Center against the Philadelphia Flyers.  Grubauer came on in relief of Braden Holtby, who was making back-to-back starts and had allowed four goals to the Flyers.  Grubauer turned aside all 14 shots he faced in just over 25 minutes of work.
 
BEARS vs. PENGUINS – TEAM LEADERS:
  HERSHEY W-B/Scranton
Games Played Garrett Mitchell (54) ChadKolarik (56)
Goals Jon DiSalvatore (14) ChadKolarik (20)
Assists Jeff Taffe (34) ChadKolarik (25)
Points Jeff Taffe (46) ChadKolarik (45)
PIMs Steve Oleksy (144) Bobby Farnham (171)
Plus/Minus Garrett Mitchell (+10) Philip Samuelsson (+10)
Power-Play Goals Jon DiSalvatore (8) ChadKolarik (10)
Shorthanded Goals Garrett Mitchell (2) Brian Gibbons, Chad Kolarik (2)
Game-Winning Goals Cameron Schilling (3) Paul Thompson (5)
Wins Dany Sabourin (7) Jeff Zatkoff (17)
Goals-Against Average Philipp Grubauer (2.10) Jeff Zatkoff (1.98)
Save Percentage Philipp Grubauer (.928) Jeff Zatkoff (.918)
 
BEARS vs. PENGUINS – SPECIAL TEAMS:
  HERSHEY Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Power Play 44-for-242 (18.2%) – 11th in AHL 38-for-277 (13.7%) – 26th in AHL
Penalty Kill 201-for-236 (85.2%) – 9th in AHL 230-for-261 (88.1%) – 1st in AHL
 
BEARS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:             
2/28/13 ADD G Brandon Anderson Reassigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
2/28/13 ADD G Philipp Grubauer Returned on loan from Washington (NHL)
2/28/13 ADD C Casey Wellman Returned on loan from Washington (NHL)
2/27/13 DEL G Philipp Grubauer Recalled from loan by Washington (NHL)
2/27/13 DEL LW T.J. Syner Returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/26/13 DEL C Casey Wellman Recalled from loan by Washington (NHL)
2/25/13 DEL G Brandon Anderson Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
2/24/13 ADD G Brandon Anderson Reassigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
 
PENGUINS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
2/28/13 DEL D Reid McNeill Reassigned by Pittsburgh (NHL) to Wheeling (ECHL)
 
BEARS AMONG THE AHL:                                                             
C Jeff Taffe:  1stassists (34); T,7thscoring (12-34-46).
LW Barry Almeida:  2nd (R) – shooting percentage (6/26=23.1%).
D Steve Oleksy:  3rd (D) – PIM (144); 3rd (D) – minor penalties (31).
D Patrick McNeill: T,4th (D) – SH goals (1).
 
PENGUINS AMONG THE AHL:
G Jeff Zatkoff:  2ndGAA (1.98).
G Brad Thiessen:  T,4thshutouts (4); 17thGAA (2.44).
LW Chad Kolarik:  1stshots on goal (183); T,12th (R) – scoring (20-25-45).
LW Bobby Farnham:  1st (R) – PIM (171); 1st (R) – minor penalties (23); 1st (R) – major penalties (15).

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