HERSHEY, Pa. – Philipp Grubauer stopped all 27 shots he faced, while Dustin Gazley and Jeff Taffe each contributed one goal and one assist, as the Hershey Bears dismissed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 2-0 score on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
The Bears grabbed the momentum in the first period after killing off three Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power plays – one of which was a two-man advantage lasting for 1:18. The Bears earned two power plays shortly afterward, and took the lead while working on the second advantage. Ryan Stoa made a nice play to help the Bears get set up in zone, and then worked the puck across the crease to the bottom of the left circle. Gazley was there to grab the pass and fire it past Eric Hartzell at 11:39 for his fifth of the season.
The Bears added to their lead in the middle frame when the line of Gazley, Taffe and Michael Latta again combined on a nice offensive rush. Latta slipped a pass to Gazley who got a shot off from inside the right circle. Hartzell padded it aside, but Taffe shoveled the rebound into the net for a 2-0 lead at 4:42.
That would be all the Bears would need. Despite earning only three third-period shots on goal and a season-low of 17 total, the team earned their first regulation win against their arch-rivals.
Grubauer improves to 6-4-1 in earning his second shutout of the season, while Hartzell made 15 saves and dropped to 8-3-1.
The Bears’ victory completes a perfect weekend and moves the club’s overall record to 22-14-3-3.
The Bears return to action on Friday, January 31 with a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Adirondack Phantoms at Glens Falls Civic Center. The team returns home on February 2 for a special 2:00 matchup against the Norfolk Admirals, in the annual Super Bowl Sunday game. Tickets for this and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Stanislav Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Patrick Wellar…The healthy scratches were LW John Mitchell, RW Joel Rechlicz and LW Derek Whitmore…Hershey finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill…Hershey has killed off 56 of the last 61 penalties over the past 16 games played…Due to a medical issue involving Bears head coach Mike Haviland, assistant coach Ryan Mougenel served as head coach for the game.