Press Release Details


Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 7:00 PM
GIANT Center

REFEREE: Ryan Fraser (#14)
LINESMEN: Scott Adams (#20) & Leo Boylan (#97)

BEARS vs. SHARKS:  Welcome to GIANT Center for tonight’s game between your HERSHEY BEARS and the visiting Worcester Sharks.  The teams meet for the first of two matchups in Chocolatetown, and for the first of four contests overall.  Worcester is the top AHL developmental affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.
ALL-TIME:  Tonight’s game is the 13th in regular-season history between the BEARS and Sharks.  HERSHEY holds an all-time record of 4-6-2 (W – L/OTL – T/SOL) against Worcester.
THE LAST TIME:  The final day of the 2011-12 American Hockey League regular season was on April 15 of this year, and the BEARS and Sharks found themselves on that day’s schedule.  With several of HERSHEY’s regulars either injured or on NHL recall, the BEARS took leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but ultimately fell by a 3-2 count at Worcester’s DCU Center.  Barry Almeida scored his first AHL goal on his second professional shift, a play set up by center Mike Carman.  Sharks rookie Yanni Gourde’s strike later in the opening period was also his first in the AHL, a goal which tied the game.  Just 12 seconds later, BEARS forward Andrew Carroll notched his first tally of the season to put the BEARS back in front at the intermission.  Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin then scored on a carry-over power play early in the second, beating BEARS goaltender Scott Greenham with a long slap shot.  Tim Kennedy then picked up a rebound and beat Greenham just beyond the halfway point of regulation to give the Sharks the lead, which they held to the end behind a 34-save effort from netminder Harri Sateri.  Greenham made 32 saves in the setback.
Sat. December 15, 2012 WORCESTER GIANTCenter  
Sun. January 6, 2013 WORCESTER GIANTCenter  
Wed. January 16, 2013 @Worcester DCUCenter  
Sun. March 24, 2013 @Worcester DCUCenter  
RECENT RECAPS:  The BEARS recently returned from their longest mileage trip this season, coming back from Newfoundland with a pair of wins against the St. John’s IceCaps.  It was all about special teams in the opening game on Tuesday, as all goals came on the power play.  Jon DiSalvatore began a good week by scoring the opening goal 10:51 into the contest, slamming in a cross-crease pass from Jeff Taffe.  St. John’s defenseman Zach Redmond scored what ultimately would be the only IceCaps’ goal against the BEARS in the two games when he converted a rebound of a shot from Ray Sawada on a power play.  With the score tied late in the second, a high-sticking penalty against Maxime Macenauer would prove costly to the IceCaps as the BEARS earned a power play that would carry into the third period.  Tomas Kundratek made it count, ripping a slap shot past Mark Dekanich for the eventual game-winner.  Braden Holtby earned first-star honors with 32 saves on the night, including a glove stop on Redmond with 10.2 seconds left to preserve the win.  Holtby was the story once again on Wednesday, stopping all 30 shots he faced in the BEARS’ 4-0 blanking of the IceCaps.  DiSalvatore set up the game’s first goal, the eventual winner from Zach Hamill.  The BEARS moved their first-period 1-0 lead to 4-0 with three strikes in the middle stanza.  Alex Berry scored early in the period, Matt Beaudoin one-timed a pass from Boyd Kane behind Dekanich with under four minutes left, and inside the final 10 seconds of the period, DiSalvatore scored a four-on-three power play goal to give the BEARS a comfortable lead at the end of the second.  St. John’s then outshot HERSHEY 13-5 in the third period, but Holtby stood tall to give the BEARS a perfect four points on the trip and their fifth consecutive road victory.
Worcester, after quieting down the Manchester Monarchs’ offense over the weekend with a 3-2 win in New Hampshire on Sunday, fell victim to the Connecticut Whale for the third time this season on Wednesday as the Whale held on for a 2-1 win over the Sharks at Hartford’s XL Center.  Whale goaltender Cam Talbot turned aside 25 shots, all but the first goal of the contest scored by James Livingston late in the second period.  A power-play goal by Chad Kolarik tied the game early in the third, and J.T. Miller’s go-ahead goal at 6:09 of the third stood up as the difference.  Harri Sateri had a strong night in goal, stopping 36 of 38 Connecticut shots.
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of December 15):
1. Syracuse 25 16 6 1 2 35 .700 91 70
2. Binghamton 22 14 6 1 1 30 .682 70 53
3. W-B/Scranton 24 13 9 1 1 28 .583 69 64
4. HERSHEY 26 13 12 1 0 27 .519 70 71
5. Norfolk 23 10 12 1 0 21 .457 66 72
TAFFEONTOP:  C Jeff Taffe added three assists on the week’s road trip to take his point total to (6-20-26), tops on the BEARS roster.  His 20 assists rank second in the AHL, his 10 power-play assists rank tied for second, his 13 power-play points rank third, and his point total is tied for fourth in the league scoring race.  Taffe also shows seven helpers in his five-game assist streak.
HOLTBY’S HEROICS:  G Braden Holtby picked up both wins in St. John’s by allowing one goal on 63 combined shots (.984 save percentage).  His goals against average of 2.37 ranks eighth overall in the AHL, his 10 wins tie for fourth, and his two shutouts tie for fifth.
SAL STARS:RW Jon DiSalvatore has power-play goals in consecutive games, and came off of the trip to Newfoundland with three points total.  He has registered seven goals, five assists and a plus-6 rating in his last nine games.
HAMILL TIME:  C Zach Hamill scored the game’s opening goal on Wednesday at St. John’s, which stood up as the game-winner.  Hamill leads the BEARS with three game-winning goals, a number which ranks tied for sixth in the AHL.  He has scored the game’s first goal three times, which also leads the team.
TOMAS TALLYING:  D Tomas Kundratek picked up his eighth goal of the season on Tuesday at St. John’s, good enough to rank fourth among AHL defensemen.  The goal was his fourth power play strike this season and 11th power play point, which ties for fourth and third, respectively, among blueliners.  His eight goals have come on 45 shots, for a shooting percentage of 17.8% - second-best among AHL defensemen.
KANE’S COUNTDOWN TO 1,000:  Captain Boyd Kane appeared in his 317th career HERSHEY game on Wednesday, putting him in 37th place all-time.  Brian Willsie is in 36th place with 333 games played in Chocolatetown.  Kane needs just eight more games to reach 1,000 in his professional career, and 10 more games for 900 played in the AHL.
GRAB THE LEAD:  The BEARS have a record of 7-2-0-0 when leading after one period, and are 9-0-0-0 when leading after two.
TIGHT GAMES:  Wednesday’s 4-0 win over St. John’s broke a string of four consecutive one-goal games for the BEARS.  The Sharks, meanwhile, are on a stretch of six straight one-goal games entering tonight.
  HERSHEY Worcester
Games Played FIVE TIED (26) SIX TIED (24)
Goals Jon DiSalvatore (9) Tim Kennedy (12)
Assists Jeff Taffe (20) Tim Kennedy (14)
Points Jeff Taffe (26) Tim Kennedy (26)
+/- Zach Hamill (+8) Tim Kennedy (+5)
PP Goals Jon DiSalvatore (4) Bracken Kearns (5)
SH Goals Garrett Mitchell (2) Yanni Gourde (1)
GW Goals Zach Hamill (3) Danny Groulx, Freddie Hamilton (2)
PIMs Steve Oleksy (93) Matt Pelech (105)
Wins Braden Holtby (10) Alex Stalock (8)
GAA Braden Holtby (2.37) Alex Stalock (2.56)
Save % Braden Holtby (.925) Alex Stalock (.913)
  HERSHEY Worcester
Power Play 20-for-127 (15.7%) – 18th in AHL 20-for-124 (16.1%) – 15th in AHL
Penalty Kill 96-for-116 (82.8%) – 18th in AHL 84-for-105 (80.0%) – 27th in AHL
12/14/12 DEL D Patrick Wellar Returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/10/12 ADD D Brett Flemming Reassigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
12/11/12 ADD D Mike Banwell Signed to PTO
BEARS AMONG THE AHL:                                                             
C Jeff Taffe:  2ndassists (20); T,2ndPP assists (10); 3rdPP points (3-10-13); T,4thscoring (6-20-26).
G Braden Holtby:8thGAA (2.37); T,5thshutouts (2).
RW Garrett Mitchell:T,1stSH goals (2).
D Tomas Kundratek:  2nd (D) – shooting percentage (8/45=17.8%); 3rd (D) – PP points (4-7-11); T,3rd (D) – PP goals (4); 4th (D) – goals (8); T,11th (D) – scoring (8-8-16).
D Steve Oleksy:  3rd (D) – PIM (93).
C Tim Kennedy:  1stshooting percentage (12/41=29.3%); T,4th scoring (12-14-26); T,5thPP points (4-8-12).
D Sena Acolatse:T,14th (D) – scoring (4-12-16).
D Matt Pelech:  4thPIM (105).
C James Sheppard:  T,1stshootout goals (4); T,1stshootout winning goals (2).

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