Press Release Details

TONIGHT'S GAME PREVIEW: BEARS at PENGUINS


12/27/2012 -
TONIGHT’S GAME NOTES
 
HERSHEY BEARS at WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 7:05 PM
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

REFEREE: T.J. Luxmore (#49)
LINESMEN: Bob Fyrer (#72) & Jud Ritter (#34)

BEARS vs. PENGUINS:  The HERSHEY BEARS and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will meet again tonight in Wilkes-Barre Township to complete the post-Christmas home-and-home set.  The matchup is the seventh of 12 in the regular season.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the top AHL developmental affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
 
ALL-TIME:  The two teams will play their 143rd all-time meeting tonight, with the BEARS holding the edge at 71-60-11 (W – L/OTL – T/SOL).  HERSHEY posted a record of 5-5-1-1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season.
 
LAST NIGHT:  It was another game in which the BEARS were outshot by the opposition, and another situation in which it translated to a victory.  Behind Braden Holtby’s 33 saves, the BEARS skated to a 2-0 decision over the Penguins at GIANT Center.  Both goals came off of turnovers by the Penguins, one early and one late.  Inside the game’s first four minutes, the BEARS forecheck forced defenseman Brian Strait to try a pass from behind the visitors’ net.  Garrett Mitchell knocked the pass down, and Ryan Potulny fired a shot from in close that Penguins backstop Jeff Zatkoff turned aside.  The rebound bounced right to Mitchell, who fired it home while on one knee to give HERSHEY a 1-0 lead.  The score would hold up all the way to the final minute of regulation, but the time in-between was filled with solid penalty killing from both teams.  The Penguins would earn six opportunities on the man advantage, while the BEARS picked up five chances.  Holtby’s goaltending and the Penguins’ shot-blocking were what stood out in keeping goals off of the board.  With time winding down, Jeff Taffe stole a puck on the left boards and promptly took a shot that found the empty net, which was vacated by Zatkoff for an extra attacker, and gave the BEARS a 2-0 lead which would be carried to the final horn.
 
2012-13 SEASON SERIES:
Sun. October 28, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 3-2 W
Fri. November 9, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena 3-1 W
Sat. November 17, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 4-1 W
Wed. November 21, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 0-4 L
Fri. December 7, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena 5-4 W (OT)
Wed. December 26, 2012 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center 2-0 W
Thu. December 27, 2012 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Fri. January 11, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Sun. January 20, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON HERSHEYPARK Stadium  
Sun. February 3, 2013 W-B/SCRANTON GIANT Center  
Fri. March 1, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
Sun. April 7, 2013 @W-B/Scranton Mohegan Sun Arena  
                               
 
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of December 27):
POS TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS WIN% GF GA
1. Syracuse 29 18 7 1 3 40 .690 105 80
2. Binghamton 26 16 7 1 2 35 .673 87 68
3. HERSHEY 30 15 13 1 1 32 .533 79 76
4. W-B/Scranton 28 14 12 1 1 30 .536 75 76
5. Norfolk 27 13 13 1 0 27 .500 73 80
 
HEAD TO HEAD:  RW Garrett Mitchell picked up his third goal against the Penguins in the season series last night to lead the head-to-head goal scoring.  Zach Hamill (2-3-5) and Wilkes-Barre’s Benn Ferriero (2-3-5) lead the respective teams in scoring.
 
BUCKLING DOWN ON “D”:  The BEARS have held their opponents to one goal or less in five of the team’s past six games, and now rank third in the AHL in goals against per game (2.53).
 
HELD BY HOLTBY:  G Braden Holtby picked up his 73rd career win and 14th career shutout in a HERSHEY sweater on Wednesday night.  Hotlby ranks seventh all-time in wins, 10 victories behind Rollie Boutin; and fifth in shutouts, just two behind Phil Sauve.
 
P-MAC CLIMBING:  D Patrick McNeill is also moving closer to a big HERSHEY milestone, having played in 288 games with the BEARS.  He sits in 47th place in all-time games played, and his 139 career points (31-108-139) rank ninth in team history.
 
TAFFE AT THE TOP:  C Jeff Taffe got back on the score sheet on Wednesday with an insurance goal, and became the first BEARS player to hit the 30-point plateau this season.  Taffe shows (1-10-11) and a plus-3 rating in 10 December games.
 
KANE’S COUNTDOWN TO 1,000:  Captain Boyd Kane is close to two significant milestones in his 15-year professional tenure.  The left winger needs just six games to reach 900 played in the AHL, and only four games to reach 1,000 in his pro career.
 
TWO GOALS, NO PROBLEM:  Wednesday night’s victory was the third time this season that the BEARS put up just two goals and won the game.  HERSHEY is 3-2-0-0 when scoring twice.
 
BEST FANS:  Through 17 games at GIANT Center, the BEARS are once again at the top of the attendance standings, averaging a crowd of 9,261 per game.
 
BEARS vs. PENGUINS – TEAM LEADERS:
  HERSHEY W-B/Scranton
Games Played FIVE TIED (30) FIVE TIED (28)
Goals J. DiSalvatore, Z. Hamill, T. Kundratek (9) Trevor Smith, Eric Tangradi (10)
Assists Jeff Taffe (23) Beau Bennett (16)
Points Jeff Taffe (30) Beau Bennett (21)
PIMs Steve Oleksy (98) Bobby Farnham (83)
Plus/Minus Zach Hamill (+9) Tom Kuhnhackl (+3)
Power-Play Goals Tomas Kundratek (5) Eric Tangradi (6)
Shorthanded Goals Garrett Mitchell (2) Benn Ferriero (1)
Game-Winning Goals Zach Hamill (3) Paul Thompson (3)
Wins Braden Holtby (12) Jeff Zatkoff (11)
Goals-Against Average Braden Holtby (2.11) Jeff Zatkoff (2.06)
Save Percentage Braden Holtby (.934) Jeff Zatkoff (.920)
 
BEARS vs. PENGUINS – SPECIAL TEAMS:
  HERSHEY Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Power Play 22-for-147 (15.0%) – 22nd in AHL 22-for-149 (14.8%) – 23rd in AHL
Penalty Kill 118-for-141 (83.7%) – 13th in AHL 124-for-141 (87.9%) – 3rd in AHL
 
BEARS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:             
12/27/12 DEL D Brett Flemming Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
12/26/12 ADD D Brett Flemming Reassigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
12/21/12 DEL D Brett Flemming Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
 
PENGUINS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
None.
 
BEARS AMONG THE AHL:                                                             
G Braden Holtby:  T,2ndshutouts (4); 2ndsaves (634); T,3rdwins (12); 4thsave percentage (.934); 8thGAA (2.11).
C Jeff Taffe:  T,3rdPP assists (11); 3rdassists (23); T,4thscoring (7-23-30).
D Tomas Kundratek:  T,2nd (D) – PP goals (5); 3rd (D) – shooting percentage (9/50 = 18.0%); T,3rd (D) – goals (9); T,5th (D) – PP points (5-7-12); T,15th (D) – scoring (9-8-17).
D Steve Oleksy:  3rd (D) – PIM (98).
 
PENGUINS AMONG THE AHL:
G Jeff Zatkoff:  T,4thshutouts (3); 6thGAA (2.06).
LW Beau Bennett:  T,3rd (R) – assists (16); T,8th (R) – scoring (5-16-21).
TONIGHT’S BROADCAST INFORMATION:
BEARS Radio Network: WTKT-1460 AM, WQIC-100.1 FM, WRBT-94.9 FM HD-2
Internet Audio:  http://www.1460theticket.com, iHeartRadio || Internet Video:  http://www.ahllive.com
Twitter: Scott Stuccio (Voice of the BEARS): @ScottStuccio ||Official HERSHEY BEARS Twitter: @TheHersheyBears
ENJOY THE GAME!
LW Bobby Farnham:  1st (R) – PIM (83); 2nd (R) – minor penalties (14); 2nd (R) – major penalties (7).

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