SHUTDOWN IN CHOCOLATETOWN - PENGUINS BLANKED 5-0
HERSHEY, Pa. – Michal Neuvirth made a 42 saves, and the Hershey Bears made the most of nine power play opportunities in shutting out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-0 on Sunday evening at Giant Center.
The Penguins were sent to the box three consecutive times in a span of less than five minutes by referee Ryan Fraser, and the Bears capitalized on the second – but not by any spectacular setup. Defenseman Zach Miskovic sent a hard dump-in off the left corner glass, the puck hit a glass support and caromed directly into the slot for Kyle Wilson to drive home his seventh of the season past Penguins goaltender John Curry.
The Penguins would control the play for the next nine minutes, but were hemmed in their own zone late in the period. Boyd Kane emerged from the left corner all alone, walked the goal line and snuck a shot inside the left post to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.
The Penguins went on to outshoot Hershey 21-4 in the second, tying a season high for shots taken in a period. But the Bears got goals from Andrew Gordon and the second of the night from Kane on the power play to take a comfortable 4-0 lead 12:41 into the frame.
The Penguins would earn four power plays in the second period, and another one in the third, but could not cash in. A scrap between rookie defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and Bears winger Oskar Osala would earn Bortuzzo an extra two, and to punctuate the game, Darren Reid fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle upstairs for his sixth.
The Bears completed the night 3-for-9 on the power play, coming into the game ranked 21st in the AHL on the man advantage. The Penguins earned seven opportunities but failed to convert.
The Penguins return home on Saturday, December 5th to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack in the second and final meeting between the two clubs. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a John Curry bobblehead figure courtesy of Blue Cross of Northeastern PA and Highmark Blue Shield. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm.
NOTES: The loss was the third consecutive in regulation for the Penguins. They had not lost three straight games since one full calendar year ago, between November 22-26... The Penguins’ all-time record against Hershey now sits at 50-49-8… The Penguins’ were shutout twice this season, and both have come against Hershey.