Bears kick off preseason with win over Penguins

The Hershey Bears scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.


The game was the first preseason contest for both teams, who are slated to meet once again one week from Sunday in a final tune-up before opening the regular season against one another on Wed., Oct. 3.


Kevin Du started the scoring at 10:38, taking a cross-ice feed from Alexei Smirnov at the far blue line and beating Bears goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak one-on-one for the only goal of the first period.


Penguins goaltender David Brown held the Bears off the board for more than half of the game, stopping the first 11 shots he faced. But Brad Zancanaro poked the puck off of defenseman Lane Manson’s stick in front of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton net at 13:24 of the second period, tying the game at 1-1.


The Bears went ahead with 58.7 seconds left in the second period, as Jason Morgan deflected a Scott Barney shot that eluded Brown.


Mac Faulkner grabbed his first of the preseason 1:43 into the third period, and Grant Potulny found the empty net with 31 seconds remaining to finish off the scoring.


Pietrasiak stopped 17 of 18 shots through two periods to pick up the win for the Bears, while Jeff Van Nynatten turned aside all four he faced during a third period relief appearance.


Brown stopped 17 of 20 shots in the loss.


Hershey will next take on the Binghamton Senators on Wednesday morning in Binghamton, while the Penguins will host to the Senators in their next preseason contest, scheduled for Friday.