HERSHEY, Pa. – David Leggio stopped all 44 shots he faced to set a new season high for saves in a game, John Mitchell scored two goals and the Hershey Bears rode all of that to a 4-0 blanking of the Worcester Sharks on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
The Bears battled and grabbed the game’s first goal with 55.1 seconds remaining in the period. David Kolomatis started the play by dumping the puck behind the net, where Peter LeBlanc went to work along the boards. The puck slid out of a pile and right toward an uncovered Josh Brittain stationed at the net front. Brittain backhanded a chip shot over the arm of goaltender Harri Sateri for a 1-0 lead.
Hershey padded their lead with an early strike in the second frame. Nathan Walker carried the puck behind the Worcester net, and made a short pass to Mitchell. The big winger was allowed three chops at the puck, and the third found its way past Sateri at 3:35.
Buoyed by a two-man disadvantage penalty kill in the middle frame and 22 saves in the period from Leggio, the Bears jumped out in the third and grabbed a 3-0 lead. Brandon Segal made a hard pass from the right corner, right onto the tape of Nicolas Deschamps who was stationed at the net front. The puck deflected perfectly over Sateri at 1:41.
While working a late third-period power play, the Sharks pulled Sateri for a sixth attacker with well over three minutes left in the game. Matt Watkins took the puck in the defensive zone and sent a pass along the left boards for Mitchell, who promptly fired a long-range shot into the empty net at 16:30 to round out the scoring.
Leggio improved to 7-8-2 on the season, while Sateri made 30 saves and fell to 6-9-1.
With the win, the Bears move into fourth place in the East Division and into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, moving past idle Syracuse and Adirondack.
The Bears return to action the day after Christmas, heading to the Southern Tier for a matchup with the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 PM at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Hershey returns home on Friday, December 27 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Syracuse Crunch. 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 D Julien Brouillette, RW Stanislav Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Patrick Wey…The healthy scratches were D Brett Flemming and RW Joel Rechlicz…RW Casey Wellman was reassigned by the Washington Capitals earlier in the day…C Jeff Taffe played in the 100th game of his Hershey career…Hershey finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill…LW Nicolas Deschamps extended his point streak to five games with his third-period goal…During the game, it was announced that C Ryan Potulny signed an AHL deal and will report to the Bears later in the week.