The Hershey Bears beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-2 Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre. The win is the 10th-straight for the Bears and sets a franchise record for points in consecutive games at 16. The win improves the Bears record to 30-20-0-3 (63 points) on the season. The Bears are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Rockford IceHogs at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
After a scoreless first stanza, the Bears would open the scoring with a power play goal from Riley Barber at 2:47 of the second period. The Penguins would respond with a pair of goals from Ryan Haggerty for a 2-1 lead at the second intermission. The Bears would tie the game 55 seconds into the final frame, making it 2-2. Riley Barber would add a pair of goals for the hat trick and the 4-2 win.
Vitek Vanecek (14-8-2-1, 2.74 GAA, .905 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Tristan Jarry (15-9-5-0, 2.75 GAA, .911) got the start in goal for the Penguins. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich– Megna – Pinho
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Whitney – Gustafsson – Ikonen
Ness – Lewington
Johansen – Siegenthaler
Scratches: Colby Williams (lower body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury – long-term) were the injury scratches. Tobias Geisser, Max Kammerer and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches. Devante Smith-Pelly was assigned to the Bears on Thursday after clearing waivers, but he has yet to join the team.
The Bears and Penguins skated to a scoreless first period, with zone time and scoring chances relatively equal. The referees kept the whistle in their pockets as there were no penalties called in the opening frame. The Bears outshot the Penguin s 9-7 for the first 20 minutes.
The Bears were benefactors of the game’s first power play in the first minute of the middle frame, and were quickly awarded an additional penalty, giving the Bears a 5-on-3 for 1:03. The Penguins would kill the first penalty, but the Bears would take advantage of the 5-on-4 with a power play goal from Riley Barber at 2:47 of the second period. The first penalty had just expired, essentially making the goal 5-on-3. Aaron Ness (36) and Mike Sgarbossa (22) were credited with the helpers.
The Penguins would tie the game with a shot from the top of the slot by Ryan Haggerty at 9:08 of the second period. Haggerty would circle around Liam O’Brian to find the opening.
The Penguins would grab the lead with Ryan Haggerty’s second of the period at 14:58 of the second period. The goal was prefaced by a defensive zone breakdown by the Bears. Lucas Johansen was unable to execute a successful breakout pass, which led to the turnover.
The second period would end with the Penguins leading 2-1. The Penguins outshot the Bears 13-12 for the second period. The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Penguins 0 for 1 on the power play in the second period.
The Bears came out for the final period, buzzing. The Bears would tie the game with a goal from Jayson Megna just 55 seconds into the final frame. Liam O’Brien (10) was credited with the lone assist.
The Bears would grab the lead with a goal from Riley Barber, his second of the game.
Riley Barber would add an empty-net goal for the hat trick and 4-2 win.
- Stars of the game: 1) Riley Barber, 2) Ryan Haggerty and 3) Mike Sgarbossa.
- Bears have won 10-straight games.
- Bears have points in 16-straight games.
- Bears have not lost since January 23rd at Lehigh Valley.
- Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 of 32 shots for a .938 game save percentage.
- The Penguins outshot the Bears 32-30 for the game.
- Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 5.
- The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Penguins 0 for 1 on the power play.
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM WILKES-BARRE