Sunday, January 4, 2015

Copley/Cornet Lift Bears In Shootout 2-1

During the broadcast last night at the end of the overtime, Scott Stuccio exclaimed that the Bears owned the additional seven minute frame. And indeed they did; outshooting the Pens 4 to 2 and keeping the puck in the offensive end for the entirety of the 3-on-3 portion.

The first period saw the Pens outshoot the Bears 12 to 4 and get a chance to score the games'  first goal with a 5-on-3 for a minute and a half. However, Hershey would kill off the two-man advantage and progressively take control of game as it worn on; outshooting the Pens 10 to 8 in the second and 11 to 4 in the third.

In a bullet points PennLive post game blog by Tim Leone, Dane Byers' "crushing" hit on defenseman Taylor Chourney about a minute in set the pace for how the rest of the game would play out. Even with fewer penalties than usual, this game was still a bit grittier than the prior ones though the emotion didn't boil over beyond the Byers' hit.

After being a healthy scratch in the NYE game, Philippe Cornet responded nicely by providing a screen for Erik Burgdoerfer's and then tallying the only shootout goal. I thought that he should have been named of the game's three stars but I understand they'd give it to Burgdoerfer for his first AHL goal.

Late in the third, the Bears had prime opportunities to get the go ahead goal but just were't able to capitalize. With less than two minutes remaining, Stan Galiev was tripped as he flew down the left side wall entering the Pens' zone. Unfortunately, the power play would only last 30 seconds as a fumbled pass on the blue line caused Galiev to hook one of the Pens' penalty killers.

However, in that 30 seconds Chris Brown had an excellent chance from the slot as he one-timed a pass from behind the net. Brown's shot was only overshadowed by Jeff Zatkoff's more impressive quick glove save. The Bears and Pens played 4-on-4 into the OT before a brief and ineffectual Wilkes-Barre power play. From there, it was all Hershey.

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