|Tom Sestito makes his season debut in WBS|
Starting Goalies -
- WBS: Tristan Jarry (9-4-1; 1.99GAA; .927 SV Pct.)
- HER: Vitek Vanacek (5-3-2; 2.10GAA; .922 SV Pct.)
- WBS: #6 Ethan Prow, #24 Cameron Gaunce, #23 Teddy Blueger, #25 Tom Sestito, #46 Reid Gardiner
- HER: #4 Madison Bowey, #32 Hubert Labrie, #17 Chris Bourque, #21 Chandler Stephenson, #28 Paul Carey
- With first place on the line, it didn't take these two rivals long to jack up the pace of play. From the opening draw both teams were flying around, willing to sacrifice the body to make a play. Hershey must have solved WBS a bit in the film room because the Bears were consistently able to generate odd-man chances on the rush. With just over 5 minutes left in the frame, Jake Guentzel had the puck along the offensive zone boards where Hubert Labrie laid him out with a huge hit. Hershey took the puck the other way on a 3-on-1 that resulted in Nathan Walker's 7th goal of the season after he tapped the puck into an empty net with Jarry sprawling desperately. The Bears kept the foot on the gas and not even 2 minutes later Paul Carey made a beautiful pass across the crease to Stephenson who made no mistake about it to make it 2-0 Hershey. The Penguins would draw a late penalty and the red-hot Power Play capitalized. Jake Guentzel one-timed a Ruhwedel pass over the shoulder of Vanacek to cut the lead in half. (Check the highlight reel, what a bomb.) The WBS PP is now 6 for its last 11 chances after struggling for the better part of November. That's how the period would end, an exciting 20 minutes to kick off a huge weekend of hockey for the AHL Penguins.
- WBS PP: 1/1 ; HER PP: N/A
- Scoring: 14:27 - HER - Walker (7) from Sanford, Malone; 15:58 - HER - Stephenson (3) from Carey, C. Bourque; 18:48 - WBS - Guentzel (8) from Ruhwedel, Simon.
|Guentzel tallied his 8th of the year in the 1st period|
- After an exciting back-and-forth first period, the teams would settle in during the 2nd. Time and space disappeared and both teams were able to muddy up the neutral zone to slow the other's attack. WBS continued to have success when they were able to get pucks deep and get the cycle going, but were unable to generate any really good chances out of it. At the 14:30 mark of the period the Bears found themselves on an odd-man rush and connected on a tic-tac-toe passing play to make it a 3-1 game. Zach Sanford was the beneficiary for his second of the season. Both Malone and Walker picked up their second point of the night with the assists. WBS had a possession advantage in the period but the Bears had the better of the scoring chances and took advantage. Hershey took a late tripping penalty to give the Pens 1:47 and fresh ice to try and make it a one-goal game to begin the 3rd. WBS' fate will likely be determined on whether or not they capitalize on the Power Play.
- Shots: WBS: 18 ; HER: 17
- WBS PP: N/A ; HER PP: N/A
- Scoring: 14:30 - HER - Sanford (2) from Malone, Walker
- WBS needed to take advantage of the Power Play that carried over from the 2nd period. They came about as close as possible when Oskar Sundqvist had a wide open net after a pretty feed from Guentzel. Vanacek slid across just in time to glove the Sundqvist chance out of mid-air, much to the dismay of the 2nd year Swede. Moments after the man advantage ended, Guentzel mad another beautiful pass only this time to J.S. Dea in the slot. The sniper picked a corner on Vanacek's glove side and WBS was in business. Not long after the Dea tally, Derrick Pouliot accounted for a brutal turnover right in front of Jarry, and former Penguins forward Zach Sill made him pay. Garrett Mitchell added an insurace goal late and the Bears would wrap up a huge Friday night win, giving them momentum heading into tomorrow night when the teams do it again.
- Shots: WBS: 28 ; HER: 22
- WBS PP: 0/2 ; HER PP: N/A
- Scoring: 2:44 - WBS - Dea (8) from Guentzel, Warsoksky; 3:28 - HER - Sill (4) from R. Bourque; 15:25 - HER - Mitchell (3) from Sill, R. Bourque
*** - HER - Nathan Walker (1G, 1A)
** - WBS - Jake Guentzel (1G,1A)
* - HER - Zach Sanford (1G, 1A)
Post Game Notes & Quotes:
- Hershey now has points in all four meetings with WBS this season.
- Saturday night will be the 5th of 12 meetings this season, Hershey took sole possession of first place with the win on Friday night.
- Jake Guentzel is now the AHL's leading rookie scorer with 19 points in 17 Games. He scored a Power Play Goal and added an assist for 2 points in his first game back.
- Surprisingly, there was not much rough stuff in this one. WBS only took one minor penalty, while the Bears took 4.
Thanks so much for the interaction tonight during the game and to anyone reading my recap here! Follow me on twitter @WBSJeff_PI.