PrintPrint

Holtby strong again as Bears blank IceCaps

The Canadian Press

12/12/2012 9:11:23 PM

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The St. John's IceCaps were struggling before they ran into Braden Holtby.

The Hershey goaltender made 30 saves Wednesday as the Bears shut out the IceCaps 4-0 in American Hockey League action.

It was the second stellar performance for Holtby against St. John's after he made 32 saves in Tuesday's 2-1 victory.

Jon DiSalvatore, with a goal and an assist, Zach Hamill, Alex Berry and Mathieu Beaudoin scored for the Bears (13-12-1), who also got two assists from Ryan Potulny.

Mark Dekanich made 21 saves for the IceCaps (11-14-1), who have lost five straight games.

Holtby, the Washington Capital's No. 1 goalie in last season's NHL playoffs, says his play has been coming together recently.

"I felt pretty good. The last four or five starts I haven't felt like I should. I don't know if it was my preparation, getting my head into it, or what it was," said Holtby, who stopped 62 shots in two games against the IceCaps. "I tried to tweak a few things, and caught a couple lucky breaks in the first period both games and that's really what makes a difference."

IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge was disappointed with his team's effort and said the spark the team had shown, even in its recent losses, that was absent.

"You're a professional hockey player. You've got to come on the ice and make sure you're ready to go. You've got to make sure that you're winning loose puck battles and playing with some sort of edge," he said. "Playing the game like a man needs to play the game, not the way that we played portions of that game tonight."

The Bears jumped ahead at 19:12 in the first period on an easy tap-in power-play goal from Hamill.

St. John's has had a number of rough second periods this season and the trend continued Wednesday as Hershey kept up the pressure.

Berry scored at 2:46 of the second and the IceCaps were caught running around their own zone for a long shift when Beaudoin's slapshot made it 3-0 at 16:08.

DiSalvatore then made it 4-0 on cross-crease pass for another power-play goal at 19:22.

The Bears went 2-for-5 on the power play, while St. John's failed to score on its two chances.

IceCaps forward Aaron Gagnon said the team is frustrated with their lack of wins.

"Bottom line, we just haven't been good enough. It starts with every guy, myself included, and it hasn't obviously been the start of the year that I've wanted or the team wanted," he said. "We've just got a find a way to get through these games and start putting some wins up."

Holtby said the Bears were happy to come away with two road victories.

"It really was a big weekend for our character, obviously with a hard travel schedule and stuff that we're not used to, it's something you have to battle through," he said. "I think we did a great job of it."

The only bright spot for the IceCaps came in the stands as the club tied the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the second longest sell-out streak in AHL history by selling out their 54th straight game.