Caps Farm Report: Bears Freeze Pens
By: John Sparenberg 
Posted: 2007-09-23
Category: Washington Capitals News
WILKES-BARRE TWP.–Just two days after officially kicking off training camp, the Washington Capitals' AHL affiliate Hershey Bears faced off last night in their pre-season opener, edging their arch rivals, the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-1.

Both teams went with lineups that were long on prospects to make the opening night roster and short on players that will be around for the October 3 opener.

American Hockey League games featuring such lineups usually feature plenty of physical play and that is usually accompanied by plenty of fisticuffs. However, both of those aspects were conspicuous by their absence in a game that featured no bone crushing hits, and only one fight between the Bears' Grant McNeill (a former Penguin) and Lane Manson, with 28.2 seconds left in the game.

Scoring was plentiful for the Bears. Brad Zancanaro started things off, recovering a terrible turnover by a WBS defenseman in front of his own net. Scott Barney, with only 58.7 seconds to go in the 1st period, added a goal that was originally awarded to Jason Morgan. Morgan was providing a screen in front of WBS goaltender, David Brown. Andrew Gordon joined in the scoring, when he corraled and put home a bouncing puck that was fumbled by Brown. Grant Potulny capped off the evening with an empty net billiard bank shot from his own blueline.

Jeff Pietrasiak, who played three games for the Bears last season, picked up the win in goal, allowing only a breakaway goal to the Penguins Kevin Do in his 40 minutes between the pipes. Pietrasiak, who finished with 17 saves on the evening, made one stellar save in each period, stopping Joe Jensen in the first period with a pad save on a spin-a-rama type move, and stopping Kevin Croxton on a short-handed partial breakaway in the second period.

Jeff Van Nynatten, who played for former Bears coach Paul Fixter last season in the CHL with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, finished out the goaltending duties for the Chocolate and White, stopping all four shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. Van Nynatten, like his pipe predecessor Pietrasiak, featured his best work on Joe Jensen, stopping him on a 2-on-1 break by going from left to right to make the save.


BEARS BITES

-- Stephen Werner, Jason Morgan, Scott Barney, Grant Potulny, Marty Guerin, Jay Beagle, Andrew Joudrey, Sami Lepisto, Jamie Hunt and Sean Collins, who all saw time in training camp with Washington were among those in the Bears lineup...

-- Jason Morgan wore the "Captain's C"...

-- Chris Bourque, who is still in training camp with the Caps, wore uniform number 17 in Hershey the last two years and at 5'7" towers two inches over the 5'5" Zancanaro, who wore number 17 last night...

-- Werner, Joudrey and Guerin comprised the Bears starting forward line...

-- Hershey killed off all five Penguin power plays, including two 5-on-3 advantages...

-- Hershey was 0-for-4 on the power play...

-- Former Bear, Dennis Bonvie, who announced this summer that he will be retiring after this season, did not dress for the Penguins...

-- Former Bear, Deryk Engelland, was in the lineup for the Penguins and played a regular shift...

-- Louis Robitaille, who is always a target of the wrath of the WBS fans, was among the Hershey scratches...

-- The Bears next game action will be an 11:00 a.m. meeting with the Binghamton Senators on Wednesday in Binghamton.

- John Sparenberg
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