Hershey Bears scored two goals
in the second period and added another pair in third to defeat the
Rochester Americans 4-1 Sunday at The Blue Cross Arena in a battle of
the American Hockey League's two oldest teams. The game marked the 446th
all-time meeting between the longtime foes, whose 57-year long rivalry is one of the most storied in professional hockey.
Garrett Mitchell (1+1) and Peter LeBlanc (0+2) led the Bears with two
points each, while Phillip Grubauer stopped 35 of 36 shots to help
Hershey snap a three-game skid. Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stoa and Boyd Kane
also scored for the Bears.
Veteran forward Patrick Rissmiller potted Rochester's lone goal and
rookie goaltender Nathan Lieuwen made 17 saves in first career AHL start
for the Amerks, who have now dropped back-to-back contests for the
first time since posting consecutive losses to Abbotsford
on Jan. 5 and Syracuse on Jan. 9.
a scoreless opening period, Hershey struck early in the middle frame
with a short-handed marker from Potulny just
26 seconds in that spotted the Bears to a 1-0 lead. Potulny jumped on a
loose puck inside the Rochester blueline, weaved his way through a pair
of defenders to the low slot and slipped a shot through the legs of
Lieuwen for the unassisted tally.
The Bears upped their lead almost five minutes later as Hershey
converted on a defensive zone giveaway that resulted in Stoa's eighth of
the year from Peter LeBlanc and Garrett Mitchell. After Hershey
defenseman Kevin Marshall made a diving play to keep the
puck alive in the Amerks zone, Mitchell kicked the puck up to LeBlanc,
who ripped a quick shot on goal from the left face-off circle. Lieuwen
was there to make the initial save, but the rebound bounced to the far
post, where Stoa jammed it home to make it a
cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal at 9:48, taking a pass
in stride from Amerks captain Kevin Porter
and sending a wrister to the top shelf, but Kane would answer just 1:51
later as he finished off a Casey Wellman rebound to put Hershey back up
by a pair.
Mitchell tacked on an insurance tally late in the third period with help from LeBlanc, securing a 4-1 victory for the Bears.
Rochester heads north of the border on Monday, Feb. 18 as the Amerks travel to Copps Coliseum for a North Division showdown
with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Game time is slated for a 3:00 p.m.