In his pre-game interview with me today, head coach Troy Mann alluded to the Bears’ 5-2 win on the road against the AHL-leading Toronto Marlies. He said that the line of Chris Bourque – Travis Boyd – Jakub Vrana played their best hockey of the season in that one, and with Vrana returning tonight, Mann expected them to pick up where they left off.
After a few turnovers that didn’t really result in anything dangerous for St. John’s, Vrana made up for things with a nice finish of a beautiful passing play. Boyd led the trio on a three-on-two rush, dropped off a feed for Bourque, and a quick fake by the AHL’s scoring leader pulled Eddie Pasquale down enough for Vrana to bomb a shot past him.
Pasquale, playing for the first time in over two years against the Bears, was THE reason that period wasn’t 2- or 3-o.
And he was the story in the second, stopping all 10 Hershey shots – two tricky ones by Madison Bowey – and allowed his team to knot the score.
Below is the official release and here is the box score.
2nd period forthcoming! GO BEARS!!
Back in the lineup for the first time since a three-game illness absence, Jakub Vrana got the Bears on the board. The Bears entered the IceCaps zone three-on-two, with Travis Boyd dropping a pass for Chris Bourque. In the slot, Bourque faked a shot and passed to his right, from where Vrana ripped a one-timer past Eddie Pasquale at 17:16 for his ninth goal of the season.
Pasquale would settle his team down with several saves on tricky shots sent to him in the middle period. The inspired hosts would knot the score on a play similar to that which led to Vrana’s goal. Collecting a feed from Brandon McNally, Max Friberg let a one-time shot go from the right circle that beat Dan Ellis at 4:51.