Few players have the capacity to score a hat trick. Few can...
HoltBeast Lives Up to Nickname
Braden Holtby, a man amongst boys. (File photo by M. Richter)
Sometimes it’s downright unfair when a clear-cut NHL goaltender is playing down a level, and no one knows that better than the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while facing Braden Holtby. The should-be Caps goaltender made 33 saves, including 12 in the third period, for his fourth shutout of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 Bears victory at Giant Center.
The only goal that mattered came four minutes in, as Ryan Potulny swatted a pass out of mid-air in front of the Penguins net, which went to Garrett Mitchell who scored on a single knee. It was his first in 11 games.
The game wasn’t lacking in delays – as in delay of game calls. While three were whistled, the Penguins came close to two others by clearing the puck over the glass while already down a man in the second. Boyd Kane‘s protest of a non-call squandered a power play.
The Bears held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game, but generated few offensive opportunities afterward, despite having five power plays. After 12 shots in the first, the Bears only managed eight in the final 50 minutes. Hershey also went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Jeff Taffe scored on the empty net in the third. The Bears held their opponent to one goal or less in five of the past six games, and are 5-of-6 against the Penguins. The win also came on defenseman Tomas Kundratek’s 23rd birthday.
Stars of the game
- Braden Holtby
- Garrett Mitchell
- Ryan Potulny
Kundratek’s birthday cake, via his Twitter.