Bears Week 24 Recap: Nothing to Celebrate

By
Posted March 21, 2016

(via the Bears)

By the end of the weekend, “Penguin” could have been a 4-letter word around the Washington Capitals organization. Not only did the NHL club lose to Pittsburgh in embarrasing fashion Sunday, the AHL affiliates did battle twice, both times seeing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton grab the win.

Earlier in the week, the Bears announced the arrival of Jonas Siegenthaler and Kevin Elgestal. Siegenthaler recently finished up his season in native Switzerland for his hometown Zurich Lions. Elgestal split his season between Frolunda HC (SuperElit) and on loan with HC Vita Hasten (Allsvenskan). This marks the Swede’s second stint in Chocolate Town; he did not appear in a game last season and neither player took the ice this weekend.

Both Saturday and Sunday saw the Bears and Penquins take more penalty minutes than shots on goal. The intra-state rivals are deep in a battle for first place in the Atlantic Division and this weekend’s meetings marked the third and fourth contest between them this month.

In Wilkes-Barre Township, the Penguins and Bears made for a revolving door in the penalty box with 60 PIM between them on the night. Tom Kostopoulos began the scoring by crashing a rebound of Dan Ellis on a power play. Riley Barber scored his 22nd goal of the season, sparking a brawl that sent Liam O’Brien and Tom Sesito to the box for fighting (the latter for a contiuning altercation misconduct as well).

That would be all for scoring that the Chocolate and White would get as Dustin Jeffery scored the lone tally in the second and one of two empty-netters late in the third. Sesito got the other; in the ensuing altercation, Chris Bourque, dressing in his 700th professional game, got a 10-minute misconduct to end his night six seconds early.

Ellis made 21 saves on 23 shots in the 4-1 loss, only his ninth of the year. Tristan Jarry stopped 25 of 26 Bears shots.

Kael Mouillierat drew first blood, but Madison Bowey and Sean Collins (PP) took the lead before ten minutes were up. Dustin Jeffery, a deadline acquisition from Arizona’s farm team in Springfield, MA, tied the game at two before Jakub Vrana retook the Hershey lead. Adam Krause, a call-up from ECHL Wheeling, scored his first AHL goal to level the game again.

Ryan Stanton and Zach Sill scored in quick succession to open the third period, but Jean-Sebastien Dea brought the deficit to one for the visiting Penguins two minutes later. Tom Kostopoulos then beat Justin Peters with under seven minutes to go, and both teams held fort to bring on the extra frame.

After Kostopoulos’ overtime shot rang off the iron, the rebound came to Will O’Neil, who did not miss the chance for a 6-5 game-winner. The teams are tied in the points race, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holds more overall wins and, thus, the top seed in the Atlantic.

NEXT WEEK

After a mid-week show in Lehigh Valley, the Bears travel once again to New York to face off with the Utica Comets on Friday. On Saturday, the Albany Devils come to Chocolate Town for Doug Yingst Bobblehead Night. The first 5,000 fans will receive a commemorative bobblehead of the retiring president/general manager.

CURRENT STANDING

64 games played, 35-18-4-7 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 81 points, T-1 in Atlantic Division (2nd on tie-breaker)