ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves, Dmitry Orlov tallied four points and the Hershey Bears were perfect on the penalty kill in skating away with a 4-0 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday night at Mile One Centre.
For the third consecutive game, it was Hershey getting things going on the scoresheet first. Playing the puck off of the defensive right boards, David Kolomatis made a cross-zone pass to Orlov, in the lineup for the second time this season. Orlov then sent a headman pass straight up the middle for a breaking Peter LeBlanc, who finished the play by snapping a shot past the blocker of St. John’s goaltender Eddie Pasquale at 5:42.
The Bears were successful on both penalty kills in the opening frame.
The visitors tacked on two more goals in the middle period, starting with a power-play goal by former IceCaps forward Derek Whitmore. Center Jeff Taffe began the play by collecting an Orlov pass and carrying the puck through center ice. His pass slipped between the stick blade and skate of an IceCaps defenseman and right onto the tape of a charging Whitmore. The winger took a snap shot that entered the net under the crossbar at 4:52. After a short look at video replay, the goal counted and gave the Bears a 2-0 edge.
Orlov would make it a 3-0 contest when he finished off a three-on-two rush. After a spectacular pad save by Grubauer in front of the Hershey net, Ryan Stoa picked up the puck and took off through the neutral zone. He held the puck, and then sent a saucer pass across the slot for Orlov who snapped it past Pasquale at 18:17.
St. John’s would outshoot the Bears 5-0 in the opening five minutes of the third, using 45 carry-over power play seconds. But after Orlov rimmed the puck around the wall, an IceCaps defenseman knocked the puck into the skating path of Casey Wellman who led another odd-man rush. He held the puck and fired a low shot through Pasquale’s pads to round out the scoring at 6:17.
Grubauer picked up the third shutout of his AHL career to improve to 1-1-0 on the season, while Pasquale made 21 saves on 25 Bears shots and fell to 2-3-0.
With the win, the Bears split the two-game set in Newfoundland and earned Mike Haviland and Ryan Mougenel their first victory as Bears coaches. The regular-season series returns to Hershey beginning on Wednesday, November 27.
The Bears return home to host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, October 26 at 7:00 PM. The first 3,000 fans will receive a keytag schedule courtesy of Hershey/CKC Pharmacy.
Individual tickets for this and all Hershey Bears home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting TicketMaster.com on the internet. Information on season tickets, group tickets and flex plans for the 2013-2014 Hershey Bears regular season is available by calling (717)508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were LW Josh Brittain and D Julien Brouillette (illness), while healthy scratches were LW Nathan Walker, RW Joel Rechlicz, LW John Mitchell, RW Brandon Segal (vet), D Patrick Wellar and D Tomas Kundratek… Hershey finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.