Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bears Finish Up Weekend With Victory

Hershey Dominates Division Rival Penguins for Complete 60 Minutes
Hershey Bears 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1

Washington Capitals' mascot Slapshot was on hand to see the Hershey Bears completely dominate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Peguins from the get go. The Peguins were playing their 4th game in 5 nights and it showed as the Bears jumped all over them from the moment the puck was dropped. Despite a Chad Wiseman hooking penalty just 46 seconds into the game, the Bears were able to grab possession of the puck. Dave Steckel took a pass from defenseman Dean Arsene at the red line and moved into the Penguins zone uncontested. He fired a wrist shot past goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers into the top right corner of the net for his 14th of the season to give the Bears a 1-0 lead just 1:01 into the game. The goal was the Bears' 17th short handed goal of the season.

Hershey would keep the pressure on the Penguins and scored their second goal of the game as their first power-play of the game expired. Jeff Schultz took a pass from Jakub Klepis at the point and fired a wrist shot just inside the blue line that deflected off Penguins' defenseman Tom Gilbert's left skate into the back of the net. It was Schultz's 2nd goal of the season in his first game back with Hershey after being reassigned by the Capitals for the All-Star break.

After their second goal, the Bears continued to control the action recording the first seven shots of the game and not allowing a Wilkes-Barre shot for the first six minutes of the game. They scored again after Chris Bourque controlled the puck in the Penguins corner and fired a shot towards the net with lots of traffic in front. Steckel was able to get a stick on the puck to deflect in his second goal and the game and 15th of the season. It was the Bears third goal in their first nine shots of the game.

It was a physical game, in front of 7,653 fans at the Giant Center, as a lot of scrums followed stoppages in play. Timo Helbling had the hit of the night, leveling Penguins' left winger Alexei Mikhnov on his back as he entered the Bears zone three minutes into the game. Heavyweights Deryk Engelland and Dennis Bonvie had a nice battle at the 11:35 mark of the first period. They exchanged some big blows before Bonvie connected on consecutive rights to knock Engelland to the ice.

The Penguins tried to get back in the game and got a short-handed goal at the 3:10 mark of the second period to cut the lead to 3-1. But they were unable to build any momentum off of that goal and the score remained the same until the 13:35 mark of the third period, when Chris Bourque deflected a Chad Wiseman shot from the point into the back of the net for his 11th goal of the season, giving the Bears the 4-1 win. The victory improved Hershey's record to 28-8-3-5, 64 points putting them three points ahead of the third place Penguins, and three points behind the first place Norfolk Admirals.

Your Top 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Dave Steckel, Hershey 2 goals, 1 assist
2. Jeff Schultz, Hershey 1 goal, 1 assist
3. Chris Bourque, Hershey 1 goal, 1 assist

Game Notes: Bears coach Bruce Boudreau announced today that Maxime Daigneault could be out a couple days or a couple weeks with what is being described as a lower body injury. To take his place on the roster Hershey recalled Davis Parley from the South Carolina Stingrays who was on hand to backup Daren Machesney today.... Jamie Hunt, Marc Busenburg, Joey Tenute, and Alexandre Giroux were scratched from the lineup.... The Bears continuously used Jakub Klepis at the point on the power play's first unit.... Hershey currently leads the league in penalty minutes as a team with 1180.

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