Bear Bye-Friday after the AHL Showcase win in DC the Bears traveled to Wilkes Barre-Scranton to face the Baby Pens. The game was physical from the start and both teams ended up trading goals back and forth until the final horn had sounded with both teams at 4 goals. Overtime started out very cautiously as both teams didn’t want to make a mistake to give up an offensive rush but midway through, that is exactly what happened. The Bears forced a Pens turnover at the blue line and TJ Syner exploded through the neutral zone on the left side. Kevin Marshall skated down the right wing and took the pass from Syner low in the slot to beat Zatkoff for his first goal as a Hershey Bear and the OT winner. Saturday the Hamilton Bulldogs rolled into Giant Center to face the Bears. Ryan Potulny seemed to enjoy his goal on Thursday night and potted 2 more in this game. It would be the only 2 for the Bears this night. The Bears kept the pedal down and had some great chances but Hamilton fought back twice to tie the game and took the lead late in the second period. Hershey seems to be getting the shot situation worked out and keeping shots even in games but the power play seems to be the struggle right now. The Bears have games on the Rock Tuesday and Wednesday at 6pm EST and a Saturday tilt back at Giant Center against Worcester.
Photo Courtesy of Carl Minieri
Banished Brothers-Another of the banished Patrick brothers returned to the Hershey lineup this past weekend. Patrick Wellar was recalled to Hershey with injuries to both Patrick McNeill and Dmitry Orlov. Wellar was a +1 on Friday with 2 shots and 2 penalty minutes. He went -1 on Saturday with a 5 minute fighting major. I thought he played solid defense and gave a little grit to the blue line. It was certainly good to see the familiar face back in Hershey. We will see what his status is this week as Patrick McNeill is very close to returning to the lineup.
Coco goes Gagnum-One of the major complaints that came out of the 2011 AHL All Star Game in Hershey was that, compared to the other AHL mascots in the league, Coco was very conservative. Fans asked for a more energetic, humorous, and entertaining mascot in Hershey. Management listened and at the beginning of the season a new Coco was debuted. It seems Coco has been slowly working his way into the outgoing Bear. Recently he has been seen on the scoreboard more and certainly showing off some dance moves not even possible in the previous big costume. I would think by the end of the year the transformation into a very outgoing and exciting mascot should be complete.
Photo Courtesy of Carl Minieri
Steve Oleksy-22 games played for Steve Oleksy in a Hershey uniform now and he is making a name for himself around the Giant Center. 4 assists, a +6 rating, 21 shots, and 91 penalty minutes. His solid work on both of the ends of the ice is very evident and appreciated by Bears Fan. He also has no problem being the straw in the drink to stir things up a bit or defend a teammate. Steve looks to have a great deal of talent and hopefully things will continue to progress for him in the future. The future looks bright for this blueliner.