The beginning of October every year spells the word “preseason” for the Hershey Bears. Hershey’s rivals from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came into town to face there prospects fighting for a roster spot. Fans filed into Giant Center to watch the open to another exciting American Hockey League season.
The first period brought chances for both teams, as Wilkes-Barre out shot the Bears 11-8. The Penguins went 0-for-2 on the power play with three shots. The Bears only saw one opportunity on the power play, with only one shot. Great saves by Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby and by Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen kept the game tied after one period of play.
Second period displayed a better job by Hershey when it came to time of possession. In period one, the Bears had trouble bringing the puck into the offensive zone on the transition. That changed at the start of period two. The Bears spent more time on attack leading to three Penguin penalties. Two of those penalties resulted in Hershey goals.
The first goal was scored by Josh Godfrey five seconds into the power play. The second goal was scored by Dylan Yeo, on a slap shot from the point. However, with 32 seconds remaining in the second period the Penguins answered. Jason DeSantis scored a man up for the Penguins leading to a 2-1 Hershey lead at second intermission. In the period, the Bears fired 11 shots on Thiessen, and the Penguins had six shots on Holtby.
In the third period, the intensity picked up for Hershey while the frustration raised for Wilkes-Barre. Large time of possession numbers for Hershey lead to more Penguin penalties. Two of the three goals scored by Hershey in the period were on the power play, including a goal by Dmitri Kugryshev.
The Pens frustration resulted in two fights during the period. The Bears blasted 15 shots on net in the third period, leading to a game total of 34. Wilkes-Barre was out worked in the third, and only had five shots on net. They finished the game with 22 shots. Braden Holtby held his ground, he stopped 21 of 22 shots. Thiessen yielded five shots out of 34.
The Bears finish the preseason tomorow, as they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at home. Puck drop is at 5 P.M. Eastern time at Giant Center.