Bears Dump Penguins 5-1; Nathan Walker Scores 16 Seconds Into Contest; Vitek Vanecek Strong In Goal

Photo: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

The Hershey Bears beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-1 Friday night at the Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre. The win raises the Bears record to 13-17-0-2 on the season. The Bears three-in-three weekend continues Saturday night when the Bears host the first the Providence Bruins at Giant Center. Puck drop on Saturday is set for 7:00 PM. 

The Bears struck quickly with goals from Nathan Walker and Grant Besse in the first two minutes of the opening period, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Bears would notch two more tallies in the middle of the second period to make it 4-0, before the Penguins finally got on the scoreboard, making it 4-1 at the second intermission. Garrett Pilon would add to the Bears lead midway through the final frame making it 5-1.

Vitek Vanecek (6-6-2-1,  2.69 GAA, .906 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Anthony Peters (6-5-2, 2.92 GAA, .903 sv%) got the start in goal for the Penguins. The starting forwards and defensive pairs for the Bears:

O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Whitney
Walker – Megna – Ikonen
Malenstyn – Pilon – Pinho
Kammerer – Gustafsson – Besse
Watson – Ness
Johnson – Sproul
Leach – Williams

Scratches: Riley Barber was a late scratch (illness) and replaced by Brian Pinho on the top line. Lucas Johansen (upper body), Connor Hobbs (upper body), Shane Gersich (upper body), Kris Bindulis (upper body), Mason Mitchell and Tobias Geisser (World Juniors) were the other scratches.

The Bears struck quickly in this one. Nathan Walker deflected a shot for the Bears first tally just 16 seconds into the contest. Walker would knock Home a deflected pass from mid-air for the score. Jayson Megna (7) and Juuso Ikonen (6) were credited with the helpers.

Then just 1:44 later, Grant Besse would knock one home to give the Bears two quick strikes in the first two minutes. Aaron Ness (15) and Hampus Gustafsson (2) were credited with the assists.

The first period would end with the Bears leading 2-0. Shots on goal were 9-8 in favor of the Penguins. The Penguins were 0 for 1 on the power play. The Bears did not have a power play in the first period.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 3-0 with a goal from Steve Whitney at 7:13 of the middle frame. Liam O’Brien (4) and Steve Johnson (1) were credited with the helpers. This was Johnson’s first AHL point.

Then just 1:04 later, the Bears would make it 4-0 with a goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 8:17, and the boo birds were out at the Mohegan Sun. Nathan Walker (5) and Aaron Ness (16) were credited with the assists.

The Penguins would finally get on the scorebaord with a goal from Joseph Cramarossa at 15:37 of the middle frame.

The second period would end with the Bears leading 4-1. The Penguins outshot the Bears 8-7 for the middle frame. The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Penguins 0 for 1 on the power play after 40 minutes.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 5-1 with a goal from Garrett Pilon at 2:08 of the final frame. Pilon would take the puck the length of the ice, deke to the middle and unleash a filthy snipe for the Bears fifth goal. Colby Williams (9) and Vitek Vanecek (1) were given the assists.

And that would be the final. Shots on goal were 6-6 in the final frame.


  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 21 of 22 shots.
  • The Penguins outshot the Bears 23-21.
  • Aaron Ness had two assists.
  • Nathan Walker led the Bears in shots with 5.
  • The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Penguins 0 for 1 on the man advantage.
  • Grant Besse’s 100th professional game, 18th AHL game.
  • Attendance: 6,530
  • The AHL box score is here.



View this post on Instagram

Winning is fun, right @vitacz15? 😁

A post shared by Hershey Bears (@thehersheybears) on

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Bears Dump Penguins 5-1; Nathan Walker Scores 16 Seconds Into Contest; Vitek Vanecek Strong In Goal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hope to see NW up again

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jon, do you think we will see VV in the NHLsome day?

  3. Raleigh Hampson says:

    That dirty sequence from Pilon is what I want to see! Dude should be a real NHL threat if he develops well.

  4. Pingback: Hershey Bears Fall to Providence Bruins 4-1 (Photos) | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: Hershey Bears Win the Week with 2-1 Victory over Providence Bruins (Photos) | NoVa Caps

  6. Pingback: Montreal at Washington Preview: Capitals Look To Lock Up Metro Against Canadiens On Thursday Night | NoVa Caps

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.