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Bears Dispatch Penguins to Sweep Home-and-Home Set

by Scott Stuccio / Washington Capitals

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa.Boyd Kane, Garrett Mitchell and Jeff Taffe each recorded two points and Dany Sabourin made 26 saves to help the HERSHEY BEARS defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 4-1 score on Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Almost to the second that his goal was recorded in Wednesday night’s game, Mitchell got things started at 3:36 of the first period to give the BEARS a 1-0 lead. Zach Hamill attempted a hard cross-crease pass to Mitchell who was set up at the right post. Mitchell, uncovered, knocked the puck down and slid it past Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.

Shortly afterward, BEARS defenseman Kevin Marshall would get into a scrap with Penguins forward Bobby Farnham, and the two would earn coincidental penalties that took them out until early in the second period.

The BEARS lead extended to 2-0 early in the middle frame on Steve Oleksy’s first goal with HERSHEY. Oleksy joined Mitchell and Taffe on a three-on-two break over the Penguins blue line, grabbed a drop pass from Taffe and sent a hard wrist shot past Zatkoff’s blocker hand at 5:50.

Late in the period, Penguins forward Paul Thompson would exchange shoves with Oleksy, a situation that earned him four minutes in penalties to Oleksy’s two. On the ensuing power play and after Kane missed an open net at the right post, Kane recovered nicely to tip a pass to Evan Barlow. Barlow then found Mathieu Beaudoin at the left post and his cross-crease pass was slammed in at 18:08 for a 3-0 BEARS lead.

Brad Thiessen came on in relief of Zatkoff at the start of the third period, and the goaltending change sparked the Penguins. With Barlow off for a double-minor penalty, the Penguins cashed in on the first minor when Thompson deflected a wrist shot from Joe Morrow underneath Sabourin’s blocker at 4:52.

The Penguins would get no further, and saw their deficit increase when Tomas Kundratek stepped up in the neutral zone and sent a pass wide to Mattias Sjogren. Sjogren’s cross-zone pass then found Kane, who fired a rising shot off of the back crossbar and in with 1:26 left in the period, rounding out the scoring.

The BEARS were victorious despite being outshot 27-19. HERSHEY ended the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Sabourin evened his record at 4-4-0 with the win, while Zatkoff took the loss, stopping 12 of 15 in 40 minutes of work. Thiessen earned no decision with three saves on four shots.

The win was the sixth consecutive road victory for the BEARS.

HERSHEY returns home to face the Albany Devils in the final game of calendar year 2012 on Saturday, December 29 at 7:00 PM. Tickets for this game and all home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at

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