Hershey Bears Shutout Toronto Marlies In Decisive 3-0 Victory, Inch Closer to Clinching Playoff Berth

32593921207_7203522468_zPhoto: Christian Bonin

While many of the other teams in the American Hockey League were just starting their day, the Hershey Bears were in the process of playing the first game of the day against the Toronto Marlies, beginning Thursday with a 3-0 victory in Toronto.



1st Period:

The Bears came out of the gate swinging, as Jayson Megna scored his 18th of the season on assists from Tyler Lewington and Aaron Ness just 1:18 into the contest to give the Chocolate and White an early 1-0 lead. Just over two minutes later, Mike Sgarbossa was called for cross-checking to put the Marlies on an early power play, which the Bears successfully killed off. The opening frame was rather uneventful for the majority of the period, but the Bears were given a man-advantage of their own at the 14:33 mark, when Marlies’ right wing Josh Jooris was called for tripping. Sgarbossa would make the Marlies pay for their infraction, as he scored his 29th goal of the season on assists from Ness and Garrett Pilon to push the Bears’ lead to 2-0. Rookie Brian Pinho would give the Bears a commanding 3-0 advantage just 14 seconds later, scoring his fourth goal of the season on assists from recent addition Joe Snively and Beck Malenstyn. The Bears would head into the first intermission up 3-0 on the scoreboard and down 9-7 in shots.

2nd Period:

The Bears would have yet another chance to extend their lead over Toronto early in the second frame, when Marlies center Chris Mueller was called for cross-checking 6:57 into the period. However, the Bears would fail to convert on their second man-advantage of the morning. The rest of the period was rather uneventful, with no power plays or goals for either team. The Bears held their 3-0 lead heading into the second intermission, and up in shots 15-14.

3rd Period:

The third period was as uneventful a period as one could have in a hockey game, with neither side receiving a power play or scoring. The game ended with the Bears and goaltender Ilya Samsonov shutting out the Marlies. The Bears finished the game 1-3 on the power play, while preventing the Marlies from scoring on any of their four man-advantages. The Bears finished the game with 22 shots, five more than the Marlies’.

The 3-0 shutout was Samsonov’s third of the campaign, and pushed his record to 19-13-2, with a Goals-Against Average of 2.68 and Save Percentage of .898. The Bears’ record now stands at 39-24-3-4 and they now need six more standings points to clinch a berth in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Bears missed the postseason last season, and have rebounded under first-year Bench Boss Spencer Carbery.


Further Reading:

Capitals Prospect Report for March 

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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