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Bears Blank Admirals in Front of Record Crowd

by Scott Stuccio / Washington Capitals

HERSHEY, Pa.Braden Holtby turned aside 35 shots for his third shutout of the season, Tomas Kundratek recorded a goal and an assist, and Mattias Sjogren netted the eventual game-winner as the HERSHEY BEARS blanked the Norfolk Admirals by a 4-0 count on Wednesday night at GIANT Center.

Following a ceremony honoring seven inductees into the inaugural HERSHEY BEARS Hockey Club Hall of Fame, a new record regular-season crowd of 10, 936 were treated to a gem of a performance by Holtby, the BEARS penalty kill and all four forward lines. Sjogren got things started at 11:35 when he deflected a point shot from Julien Brouillette over the head of Igor Bobkov for a 1-0 HERSHEY lead.

The BEARS would move ahead 2-0 in the second period on a rebound goal by Ryan Potulny. After Garrett Mitchell led Jeff Taffe over the Admirals blue line, Taffe would fire a low shot that Bobkov kicked out. The puck came right to Potulny, who wasted no time in planting it in the goal at 14:23. With the helper, Taffe extended his assist streak to a league-best seven games.

Not long after Steve Oleksy and Norfolk’s John Kurtz traded punches at 9:57 of the third, the BEARS would add to their lead. With Devante Smith-Pelly serving a penalty for slashing, the BEARS set up on their third power play of the game. Kundratek grabbed a pass in the high slot, picked the glove side of Bobkov and let a wrist shot go that would find the net at 14:42.

Boyd Kane finished off the scoring when he came out of the penalty box to deposit the rebound of a Patrick McNeill shot with 9.1 seconds left in regulation.

Holtby improved to 11-8-1 on the season, while Bobkov fell to 4-7-0 in making 23 saves on 27 shots. The BEARS finished the night 2-for-5 on the power play and were perfect on four penalty kills.

The BEARS will play their final game before the Christmas holiday this Saturday, December 22 with a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Springfield Falcons. The first 3,000 fans will receive a 75th anniversary car magnet courtesy of M&T Bank. Additionally, the Central PA Blood Bank will be present and fans are encouraged to donate blood prior to the game to support the blood drive.

Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at

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