Braden Holtby’s 100th career appearance in net for the Hershey Bears was a surprising and somber one for him as he relieved starting goaltender Dany Sabourin in the second period, and then allowed three goals himself as the Bears’ New England weekend got off to a rocky start when they were shut out by the Providence Bruins in Providence, 6-0.
Sabourin, the former Bruin, was solid in the opening stanza and stopped all twelve shots he faced, but early in the middle frame, allowed a soft goal off the stick of Jamie Tardif at 3:02 that started a rapid downhill spiral for him and his club.
Defenseman Kevan Miller’s goal than emanated from outside the blueline gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead at 5:58 and then a wraparound goal from Tardif spelled the end of the night for Sabourin at 14:48. Sabourin, who finished the game with 21 saves on 24 shots faced, has now required relief in three of his 21 starts this season, including twice in his last five starts.
Holtby stopped both shots he faced in finishing out the second stanza, but allowed three goals (two power play strikes) in the third period as the Bears suffered their most lopsided loss of the season.
Notes-The Bears played without captain Boyd Kane (suspension), co-league-leading scorer Keith Aucoin (recall), and enforcer Joel Rechlicz (suspension), as well as defenseman Zach Miskovic.
Prior to tonight’s disastrous second period, the Bears had outscored their opponents on the road in the second period this season, 25-12.