Bears, Penguins Brawl in Preseason Finale

Sunday, October 5, 2014
Things got chippy before the opening face-off. A sign of things to come.
After seven goals and 210 (Edit: Updated box score has the game at 220) minutes in penalties, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' (WBS) concluded their preseason schedule with a bang after a 6-1 loss in a fight-filled affair with intra state rival Hershey.

NOTE: Before Penguins fans hit the panic button, take a look at the scratches for WBS at the bottom of this recap.

The Penguins had a glorious chance 2:12 into the opening period after Patrick Wey clipped Anton Zlobin with an errant high stick, giving the Pens a four-minute power play. Unfortunately for the Pens, the Bears not only killed off the penalties but had more chances shorthanded than the Pens did on the power play.

Hershey continued to feed off the momentum of the successful penalty kills, drawing an interference minor on Alex Boak and scoring on their first power play of the night at the 6:53 mark. Stanislav Galiev fired a laser from the top of the face-off circle that beat Hartzell to the top shelf. Tomas Kundratek and Tim Kennedy were credited with assists on Galiev's fourth of the preseason.

The Bears continued to press the action and found themselves up 2-0 after a miscue between Hartzell and one of his defenseman behind the WBS net halfway through the first frame. The end result was a turnover that turned into a goal from Joel Broda, extending the Bears lead over the Pens to 2-0. Caleb Herbert and Dustin Gazley were credited with assists on Broda's fourth goal of the preseason. 

Things got pretty chippy late in the period as Patrick McGrath took a run at an unsuspecting Herbert, causing Jon Landry to drop his gloves and tackle McGrath. After McGrath served his penalty and was heading back to the WBS bench during a timeout on the ice, he began chirping the Bears bench - specifically calling for Bears forward Garett Mitchell to hop over the boards and cross the center red line.

The second period was a blood bath. It started with a fight between Alex Boak and Kris Newbury just 11 seconds into the middle frame. 

Amidst all the dirty hits and bare knuckle dancing, Chris Conner extended the Bears lead to 3-0 with a great individual effort - toe-dragging around a sliding WBS defenseman and sniping the top right corner on Hartzell 1:41 into the period.

A wreckless high-stick by Garett Mitchell on Reid McNeill caused a pair of fights between Matia Marcantuoni & Mitchell and Josh Archibald vs. Nathan Walker at the 3:28 mark. Then, all hell broke loose. 

McGrath wrapped up an un-willing Dane Byers and caused a 47 PIM outburst as both players were ejected and the Pens were assessed a rare 9-minute penalty kill (one major and two double minors) with 14:15 left in the middle period.

The Bears capitalized on the man advantage just once in the 9-minute power play after a nice display of tic-tac-toe passes from Newbury to Gazley to Broda for his second goal of the evening with 9:11 left in the 2nd period. 

Newbury got in his second fight of the period with big Pens defenseman Clark Seymour, and with such a height disadvantage all Newbury could do was put Seymour's jersey over his head to stop the bout. Newbury was ejected as a result of the new AHL rule regarding fighting. Two fights and you're out this season.

Much of the same in the third period as the Bears tallied an opening minute power play goal to put the game out of reach and continue the brawls. Scott Wilson was later ejected after leaving his feet to put a hit on former Penguins forward Chris Conner. Conner left the game with a gash above his right eye that required six-stitches to seal up.

Bryan Rust broke Grubauer's shutout bid halfway through the third but that's as close as the Pens would get. Marcantuoni and Archibald added the assists for what has been an impressive preseason showing for the rookie forwards.


1st Period

6:53: HER - Stanislav Galiev (4) PPG - Tomas Kundratek, Tim Kennedy
10:13: HER - Joel Broda (4) - Caleb Herbert, Dustin Gazley

2nd Period

1:41: HER - Chris Conner (1) - Tim Kennedy
11:49: HER - Joel Broda (5) PPG - Dustin Gazley, Kris Newbury

3rd Period

0:26: HER - Garett Mitchell (2) PPG - Tim Kennedy, Chris Conner
6:06: HER - Erik Burgdoerfer (1) PPG - Nathan Walker
9:22 WBS - Bryan Rust (3) PPG - Matia Marcantuoni, Josh Archibald


Eric Hartzell got the start in net and was backed up by Matt Murray. Hartzell went the distance and stopped 25 of the 31 shots that came his way.

Scratches: Philip Samuelsson, Brian Dumoulin, Nick Drazenovic, Jayson Megna, Harrison Ruopp, Bobby Farnham, Tom Kostopoulos, Pierre-Luc Leblond, Barry Goers and Conor Sheary.






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