Post-Game: BEARS 3, Penguins 1

It’s always nice to take two points away from the arch rivals.

It’s nicer when you end a slump of your own and stop a streak of theirs to do so.

Boyd Kane, Zach Hamill and Jeff Taffe all struck on the power play while Braden Holtby did his job in net by stopping 38 shots, as the HERSHEY BEARS skated past the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-1 on Friday night in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Three things caught my eye tonight:

1) The BEARS intercepted a LOT of Penguins passes that were attempted through the neutral zone.  This resulted in some transition plays that led to a handful of scoring chances.
2) The BEARS intercepted several Penguins passes behind Braden Holtby’s net.  With the number of defensemen sent deep by the Penguins, the BEARS defense could easily have been thrown off.  But the coverage was there all along.
3) Braden Holtby is playing at the level that won Washington the series against Boston last spring – here in the AHL.  He is seeing the puck so well, he is so quick side-to-side, he is keeping the puck directly in front of him even on the toughest of saves, and he isn’t getting rattled by anything – certainly a great sign heading through November.  (Remember the two roughing penalties he took in Springfield last year, that led to a Falcons comeback win in OT?)
4) Zach Hamill is getting into a groove with his new teammates.  His goal was the second game-winner of the season, and he would have had two if Jeff Zatkoff hadn’t made an incredible sliding pad save late in the first period.

Here is the game box score.  Up next tomorrow night, St. John’s IceCaps and Dean Arsene’s return to Chocolatetown.

GO BEARS!!!

-Stucc

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