Post-Game: BEARS 2, IceCaps 1

For the second consecutive game with a score ending 2-1, the BEARS were on the proper side of it.

For the fourth consecutive game, the BEARS have won a road game.

And for the first time since November 9, HERSHEY scored more than one power-play goal to skate past the St. John’s IceCaps on Tuesday night at Mile One Centre in Newfoundland.

I’m going to single out my top five players tonight here, who need to get some help if the BEARS want to pull four points away from this never-say-die St. John’s team:

1) Braden Holtby.  The #1 star of the game hands-down.  Allowed a power-play goal that simply could be chalked up as a bad bounce away from him.  Stopped every point-blank chance, gave up few rebounds, and saw the puck very well through traffice.  Came up with the game-saver with 10.2 seconds left, snaring Zach Redmond’s wrist shot from the right circle.

2) Zach Hamill.  Fantastic work tonight setting up both power play goals, was okay on faceoffs, but worked very hard backchecking.  Is proving to be a tough guy to play against along the boards as well.

3) Tomas Kundratek.  The Czech-born blueliner now ranks fourth by himself among AHL defensemen in goal-scoring (8).  Took a vicious slash and was high-sticked in the game, and drew power plays on both occurrences.  Made few defensive mistakes.

4) Jeff Taffe.  Two more assists for the veteran center pulls him into a tie with Keith Aucoin for 2nd in AHL helpers (19) and into fifth-place tie with three other players for the overall AHL scoring race (6-19-25).  Excellent patience with puck, lost few battles.

5) Steve Oleksy.  Has my vote for best defenseman tonight to not be on the score sheet.  Blocked several shots, made one of his patented fake slappers that nearly set up a BEARS goal for the third consecutive game.  Saw a three-game point streak snapped but still played very well.

A nod for #6 goes to Ryan Potulny, whose shot block on the IceCaps’ first power play of the third period was a sacrifice and a half.

Game recap is right here.  Rematch is tomorrow.  We will see if either team makes changes.  IceCaps drop their 4th straight, BEARS win their 4th straight on the road.

Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton play tough games tomorrow as well.  WBS, with an apparent injury in goal, visits Albany, where the Devils have won three straight games.  Their goaltenders and defensemen are playing well.    Binghamton, who saw their recent nine-game winning streak snapped by 5th-place Norfolk, visits Syracuse, who are irate after going winless in their last two games. 

Losses by the Pens and Sens, and a win by the BEARS, puts HERSHEY one point out of second place in the division.

Never too early to force other teams to watch the rearview mirror.

Puck his the ice at Mile One Centre in the rematch tomorrow at 6:00 PM EST, pregame is 5:20.

Good night from the Maritimes!


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