Last Game

Hershey Bears 2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3


12/18/2013 -

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 7:00 PM 
GIANT Center

REFEREE: Jamie Koharski (84)
LINESMEN: Bob Goodman (90) & Scott Pomento (25)
HERSHEY vs. SYRACUSE:  Welcome to GIANT Center for tonight’s American Hockey League matchup between your Hershey Bears and the visiting Syracuse Crunch.  Tonight’s meeting is the first of eight in the regular season.  Syracuse is the top AHL developmental affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
ALL-TIME:  The Bears hold a record of 51-33-14 (W – L/OTL – T/SOL) against Syracuse.  Last season, the Bears finished with a record of 2-4-0-0 in the teams’ six-game series.  The Bears have won two of their last three matchups against Syracuse.
THE LAST TIME:  Syracuse visited Chocolatetown on April 6th, for the last meeting of the 2012-13 season between the clubs.  A packed house of 10,943 – GIANT Center’s third-largest crowd ever – watched a tightly-contested game featuring solid penalty killing and a battle of defense.  Jean-Philippe Cote would get Syracuse on the board first, 10:07 into the game, when his shot beat Dany Sabourin from the left side.  Former Bears forward Joey Crabb would get his second of the season to tie the game with just 55 seconds left in the middle frame, a rebound at the top of the crease of goaltender Riku Helenius.  But winger Ondrej Palat, currently with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, put the Crunch ahead for good 3:50 into the third period.  The game featured only 41 combined shots on goal (SYR 21, HER 20) and two perfect penalty kills (SYR 2/2, HER 4/4).  Bears rookie defenseman Nate Schmidt posted an assist and a plus-one rating in his first career AHL game.
2013-14 SEASON SERIES (0-0-0-0):
Wed. December 18, 2013 SYRACUSE GIANT Center
Fri. December 27, 2013 SYRACUSE GIANT Center
Fri. January 17, 2014 @Syracuse Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
Fri. January 24, 2014 @Syracuse Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
Sat. January 25, 2014 SYRACUSE GIANT Center
Sat. February 22, 2014 SYRACUSE GIANT Center
Sun. February 23, 2014 @Syracuse* Verizon Center (Washington AHL Showcase)
Fri. March 14, 2014 @Syracuse Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
RECENT RECAPS:  Both of tonight’s opponents last played home games on Saturday, with two completely different results.  Offense was plentiful for the Bears, as the team put up its second-highest single-game goal total of the season in a 7-4 thrashing of the Binghamton Senators.  The game was chippy right from the start, as Senators forward Darren Kramer fought Bears winger John Mitchell just four seconds into the contest.  The Bears would get on the board on the game’s first power play, when Stan Galiev fired a shot past Andrew Hammond at the 1:20 mark.  Goaltender Michal Neuvirth, assigned for a one-game conditioning loan by Washington, then saw Mark Stone beat him on a shorthanded breakaway to tie the game at 11:56.  Julien Brouillette then started a great night by beating Hammond for Hershey’s second power play goal of the period.  The Bears seemingly took control just 51 seconds into the middle period when Matt Watkins scored while being knocked to the ice to make it 3-1.  But a crucial elbowing major against forward Michael Latta would later allow the Senators to turn the game around.  After defenseman Danny New beat Neuvirth from long-range at the 6:16 mark, Cole Schneider would score two goals on the extended power play to put Binghamton ahead 4-3.  Brouillette would get a key tying marker with 1:52 left in the second to give the Bears life at the intermission.  In a scrum-filled third period that featured 95 of the game’s 142 combined penalty minutes – including three ejections – the Bears dominated play, getting goals from Brandon Segal, Nathan Walker and Ryan Stoa en route to the victory.  Neuvirth settled in to stop all 15 of Binghamton’s third-period shots in picking up his first AHL victory since hoisting the Calder Cup on June 14, 2010.
Syracuse, meanwhile, managed just one goal in their contest against the Rochester Americans – but it would be all they would need, as rookie netminder Kristers Gudlevskis turned aside all 27 Amerks shots in earning his second shutout of the season.  Brett Connolly’s first-period tally stood as the winner.  Syracuse earned seven power play chances in the game, while the Amerks earned just one.  Rochester finished perfect on the penalty kill.
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of December 18):
1. W-B/Scranton 26 16 7 1 2 35 .673 81 64
2. Binghamton 26 14 9 0 3 31 .596 91 82
3. Norfolk 27 13 9 1 4 31 .574 73 73
4. Syracuse 25 12 10 1 2 27 .540 64 70
5. HERSHEY 24 10 9 2 3 25 .521 77 77
  HERSHEY Syracuse
Games Played P. LeBlanc, C. Schilling, J. Taffe (24) Four Tied (25)
Goals Jeff Taffe, Casey Wellman (7) Nikita Kucherov (13)
Assists David Kolomatis, Brandon Segal (9) Vladislav Namestnikov (13)
Points Peter LeBlanc, Jeff Taffe (14) Nikita Kucherov (24)
PIMs Dane Byers (78) Luke Witkowski (69)
Plus/Minus Tyson Strachan (+8) Jean-Philippe Cote (+6)
Power-Play Goals Jeff Taffe (5) Nikita Kucherov (6)
Shorthanded Goals Four Tied (1) Cedric Paquette (2)
Game-Winning Goals Peter LeBlanc (3) Three Tied (2)
Wins David Leggio (5) Cedric Desjardins, Kristers Gidlevskis (5)
Goals-Against Average Philipp Grubauer (2.60) Kristers Gudlevskis (2.12)
Save Percentage Philipp Grubauer (.904) Kristers Gudlevskis (.920)
  HERSHEY Syracuse
Power Play 20-for-131 (15.3%) – 22nd in AHL 20-for-121 (16.5%) – 17th in AHL
Penalty Kill 103-for-126 (81.7%) – 17th in AHL 92-for-113 (81.4%) – 18th in AHL
Hershey LW Ryan Stoa T1st, shootout goals (4).
  D Julien Brouillette 1st defensemen & T3rd overall, shooting percentage (4/14=28.6%).
Syracuse C Cedric Paquette T1st, shootout-winning goals (2); T1st rookies & T2nd overall, SH goals (2); T2nd rookies, SH points (2-0-2).
  D Luke Witkowski T3rd rookies, PIM (69).
*Excludes Players on NHL Recall
12/18/13 DEL G Michal Neuvirth Recalled from Conditioning Loan by Washington (NHL)
12/17/13 ADD G Brandon Anderson Reasigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
12/17/13 DEL RW Casey Wellman Recalled from loan by Washington (NHL)
12/16/13 DEL D Connor Carrick Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to United States (WJC)
12/15/13 DEL C Michael Latta Recalled from loan by Washington (NHL)
12/15/13 ADD D Nate Schmidt Returned on loan from Washington (NHL)
12/14/13 DEL G Brandon Anderson Reasigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
12/14/13 DEL C Jamie Johnson Released from SPC
12/13/13 ADD G Brandon Anderson Reasigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
12/12/13 ADD G Michal Neuvirth Conditioning Loan from Washington (NHL)
12/12/13 DEL G Riley Gill Returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/17/13 DEL RW Carl Neilsen Returned on loan to Florida (ECHL)
12/16/13 ADD RW Jon DiSalvatore Signed to SPC
12/16/13 DEL LW Ray Kaunisto Released from PTO
NEU-VY, NEU-VY:  In his first appearance since hoisting the Calder Cup on June 13, 2010, G Michal Neuvirth picked up a victory on GIANT Center ice with his 33-save effort in a 7-4 win over the Binghamton Senators on Saturday.
DESCHAMPS DOMINATES WEEKEND:  LW Nicolas Deschamps continues to climb up the Bears’ scoring ladder after posting five points (two goals, three assists) in the team’s last two games.  He factored into all of the Hershey scoring on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2-1-3), and chipped in two assists on Saturday against Binghamton.  Deschamps ranks seventh on the team in scoring (5-5-10) with 17 games played.
SEGAL IN 300-POINT CLUB:  RW Brandon Segal hit another milestone over the weekend.  Three weeks after playing in his 600th AHL game (November 24 vs. Binghamton), the Richmond, BC native recorded a goal and an assist to push his AHL point total to 300 (152 goals, 148 assists).  Segal accomplished this feat on Saturday, also against Binghamton.
WELLAR STRINGING ALONG:  D Patrick Wellar posted a point in all three of the Bears’ games last week.  Wellar scored the opening goal on Wednesday at Binghamton, and recorded assists on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and on Saturday vs. Binghamton.
BROUILLETTE CLOSING IN:  D Julien Brouillette moved into the goal-scoring lead among Bears defensemen with his two-goal effort and first-star performance on Saturday vs. Binghamton.  Brouillette now has four goals scored in 14 games; his AHL career high for goals in a season (seven) was set in his first season in Hershey in 2011-12 (74 games played).
STRONG STOA:  LW Ryan Stoa chipped in three points (1-2-3) and a plus-three rating in the Bears’ last two games to move into fourth among his teammates in scoring.  Stoa shows (6-6-12) in 19 games this season.
UP THE LADDER:  The Bears scored 14 goals in their three games last week to move into eighth overall in AHL goals per game average (3.21).

DOWN A MAN:  LW Nicolas Deschamps scored the Bears’ fourth shorthanded goal of the season on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the team’s first on the road.  The Bears are tied for sixth in the AHL in shorthanded goals scored.

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