Probably the most obvious statement to make in a game between division rivals is this:
“We have to stay disciplined. We can’t keep taking penalties in their building.”
Not one but several players said this after the March 6th matchup that saw the Penguins claim a 5-4 win, helped out by several chances on the power play.
Tonight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had another number four after the first period. Not goals, but power play chances.
Dan Ellis was TREMENDOUS in the opening 20 minutes, stopping 13 of 14. One unfortunate bounce off of Ryan Bourque’s stick came to Tom Kostopoulos for the deposit at 17:32.
The Bears responded, thanks to who will undoubtedly be an All-Rookie Team member at the end of the season – Riley Barber. 22 goals, 47 points. Not bad at all.
But another unfortunate bounce brought the Penguins back in front after two. Dustin Jeffrey got a piece of his gear on a harmless, throw-it-to-the-net shot from Barry Goers and the puck found pay dirt behind Ellis.
That was all the Penguins would need. Two empty-net tallies made the score an uncomfortable-looking 4-1 final, but the Bears made this a much closer game.
Tomorrow should be a great rematch at 5PM with nearly 11,000 expected in the Den.
Riley Barber’s 22nd goal of the season brought the Hershey Bears some life but the first of two goals from Dustin Jeffrey ended up as the winner, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins claimed a 4-1 victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
In another penalty-filled period, the Penguins managed to get the first goal of the night. Dan Ellis turned away several quality chances but in diving to cover a point shot, the puck was knocked loose to his left and Tom Kostopoulos crashed the net to poke the puck in at 17:32.
But the Bears would answer right back at 18:41. Barber jumped on the rebound of a sharp-angle slap shot from Travis Boyd and jammed the puck behind Tristan Jarry for his 22nd goal of the season.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reclaimed the lead at 7:38 of the second period, when Jeffrey redirected a shot from the right point from Barry Goers on its way to Ellis.
The Penguins would kill off two more Hershey power plays and later add empty-net tallies by Jeffrey and Tom Sestito to pull away with the win.
Ellis stopped 21 of 23 shots but fell to 22-9-4 on the season. Jarry made 25 saves on 26 shots and improved to 13-9-3.
The Bears retain the Atlantic Division lead with a record of 35-18-3-7.
Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton face off again tomorrow, March 20 at 5:00 PM at GIANT Center. The game is sold out. Fans may catch the broadcast beginning at 4:20 PM on the Bears Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-AM 1460, WOYK-AM 1350, via the iHeartRadio App (Fox Sports 1460 Harrisburg), and online at FoxSports1460.com. Fans may watch the games for a small fee at AHLLive.com.
NOTES: Chris Bourque played the 700th game of his professional career…The Bears scratched LW Paul Carey, RW Kevin Elgestal, RW Caleb Herbert, D Mike Moore and D Jonas Siegenthaler…RW Garrett Mitchell served the third of a three-game suspension…The Penguins scratched D Niclas Andersen, C Tyler Biggs, RW Sahir Gill, D Harrison Ruopp and LW Dominik Uher.