HERSHEY, Pa. – David Marshall had a Gordie Howe hat trick that included a fight, two goals and two assists, and Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves to help the Hershey Bears to a 6-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
For the second consecutive night the Bears put up three goals in the first period, also getting the game’s first tally. At the 5:55 mark, a Patrick Wellar blast from the left point found the stick of Tyler Ruegsegger who was stationed at the net front. The puck deflected over the arm of Penguins goaltender Andy Chiodo and home for a 1-0 lead. Marshall earned the secondary helper.
But just 23 seconds later, the Penguins capitalized on a turnover in the Hershey defensive zone to pull even. Adam Payerl found himself alone with a lane from the right circle to the net of Grubauer, and slid a shot through the netminder’s pads at 6:18.
The Bears got back on top at 16:13 with the eventual game-winner when Casey Wellman picked the pocket of a Penguins defenseman, and spun a shot on goal that trickled through Chiodo’s pads from in close.
Hershey opened up a 3-1 lead just 1:15 later when last season’s leading scorer Jeff Taffe ended up with two quality chances in the high slot. His first shot was blocked away by Chiodo, but Chay Genoway got the puck back to Taffe for another blast that sailed into the upper-right corner of the net.
Taffe would end up taking the game’s first penalty at 5:18 of the second, but the Bears remained perfect on their penalty kill in pre-season with solid shot blocking.
Marshall would help increase the Bears’ lead at 7:45 of the frame by driving to the crease, taking a Ruegsegger pass from behind the net and angling a shot over the glove of backup goaltender Jeff Deslauriers. Marshall would later fight Penguins forward Christiaan Minella as the tension of the game escalated.
Marshall continued his potent night when he collected a pass from Nathan Walker in the offensive zone, drove to the net uncontested and deked Deslauriers to deposit a backhander in the net at 13:21, giving the Bears a 5-1 lead.
A late-period penalty for delay of game on Penguins defenseman Nick D’Agostino would give the Bears their first power play goal of the night and round out the scoring. Julien Brouillette’s pass from the center point found its way into the wheel house of Derek Whitmore, whose one-timer beat Deslauriers to the blocker side with 1:27 left to play.
Grubauer earned his first victory of the pre-season, going the distance in the Bears net. Chiodo stopped nine of 13 shots in 30:32 of action and suffered the loss, dropping to 0-2-0. Deslauriers earned no decision in 29:28 of relief and made 21 saves on 23 shots.
The Bears will conclude their pre-season schedule tomorrow at 5:05 PM with a rematch against the Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The curtain will rise on the 76th season of Hershey Bears hockey next Saturday, October 5 as the club hosts the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 PM. Individual tickets are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by going to TicketMaster.com on the internet.
Season tickets for the 2013-14 Hershey Bears regular season are on sale now, with many different flexible plans are available and start as low as $165.
NOTES: The Bears’ lone healthy scratch was forward Domenic Monardo…Hershey finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, staying perfect in pre-season while on the kill…Former Bears center Mike Carman is with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a tryout for training camp and has played all three games with the Penguins in pre-season...Bears players who were in Friday night’s lineup but not tonight included Josh Brittain, Stanislav Galiev, Peter LeBlanc, David Leggio, Nate Schmidt, Cameron Schilling, Ryan Stoa and Patrick Wey.