HERSHEY, Pa. – Ben Maxwell scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Eddie Pasquale made 27 saves to help the St. John’s IceCaps to a 3-1 victory over the HERSHEY BEARS on Friday night at GIANT Center.
The BEARS survived two St. John’s power plays in the first period, and were outshot 15-7 by the first intermission. Philipp Grubauer was the star of the frame, stopping everything he faced including a diving save with the paddle of his stick on Kael Mouillerat.
The IceCaps would finally solve Grubauer at 11:52 of the second, while working their fourth power play of the game. With Patrice Cormier blocking Grubauer’s view at the net front, Mouillerat let a wrist shot go from the right circle that deflected off of Cormier and into the net for a 1-0 Iead.
The BEARS then drew two power plays of their own, and quickly capitalized on the second to tie the game. Ryan Stoa was able to work the puck to Jeff Taffe in the left corner. Taffe spun a backhand pass perfectly to the top of the crease, where a driving Jon DiSalvatore chipped the puck over Pasquale at 15:54.
But just under one minute later, the IceCaps took the lead back for good. Maxwell beat a BEARS defenseman at the HERSHEY blue line, raced in alone, deked to the backhand and beat Grubauer at 16:47. Ray Sawada then found the empty net at 19:21 to seal the win.
Grubauer stopped 25 of 27 shots but saw his record drop to 2-3-0. Pasquale improves to 12-15-2 with the win. HERSHEY finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The season series between the teams finishes with each team picking up two wins, all on the road.
The BEARS play their final game before the All-Star break tomorrow, January 26 at 7:05 PM on the road against the Binghamton Senators. The team returns home next Saturday, February 2 at 7:00 PM for their first matchup of the season against the Manchester Monarchs. Tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.