Bears Down Wolf Pack, 1-0; Vitek Vanecek Stops 30 Shots, Eddie Whittchow Scores Game-Winner

Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack

The Hershey Bears beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 1-0 on Friday night at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The win improves the Bears record to 36-18-3-3 (78 points) on the season. The victory gives the Bears a two-point lead over the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.

GAME SUMMARY
After a scoreless first and second frame, Eddie Whittchow would pot the game’s only tally late in the final frame for the 1-0 victory. Vitek Vanecek stopped all 30 shots he faced.

STARTERS
Vitek Vanecek (17-10-1-1, 2.38 GAA, .912 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. J.F. Berube (13-14-4-3, 2.59 GAA, .903 sv%) got the start in goal for the Wolf Pack. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Steve Whitney returned to the lineup for the first time since November 16th. Daniel Sprong was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Chrsitian Djoos on February 24th.

Scratches: Tommy Hughes, Kale Kessy, Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs (shoulder surgery, out indefinitely) and Brett Leason (illness, did not make the trip) were the injury scratches. Kody Clark, Riley Sutter and Colby Williams were the healthy scratches.

FIRST PERIOD
The Bears’ Eddie Whittchow and the Wolf Pack’s Mason Geertsen dropped the gloves at 6:33 of the first frame.

The Bears were called for two consecutive penalties, Whttchow for instigating and the Bears bench for too many men, but the Bears were able to squash both of the Wolf Pack’s power plays.

The first period would conclude with score tied 0-0. Hershey led in shots 10-7 after 20 minutes of play. Hershey was 0 for 0 and Hatford 0 for 2 on the power play in the first frame.

SECOND PERIOD
The Bears and Wolf Pack also skated to a scoreless draw in the middle frame. Hartford led in shots on goal 6-3 for the middle frame, with SOG’s tied 13-13 after two periods.

Hershey did not have a power play in the first two periods. Hartford was 0 for 2 on the power play after two periods.

THIRD PERIOD
The Bears would finally break the seal on the scoring with a goal from Eddie Whittchow (5) at 14:12 of the final frame. Brian Pinho (15) and Shane Gersich (8) had the helpers. It was the Bears 17th shot of the game.

That would be the final.

The same two teams are back at it again on Saturday night at the XL Center. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 pm. The Bears will wrap-up their week of play against the Bruins in Providence. Puck drop for Sunday is set for 3:05 pm.

By Jon Sorensen

SHAVINGS

  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 4,489
  • Hartford outshot the Bears 30-17.
  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 of 30 shots faced for his 11th career shutout for the Bears.
  • Daniel Sprong led the Bears in shots with 5.
  • Hartford was 0 for 3 and Hershey 0 for 0 on the power play.

SCENES FROM HARTFORD

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Wolfpack!! 🐺 #hockey

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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 Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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