The Hershey Bears secured 4 points over the weekend, defeating the visiting Portland Pirates 3-2 Friday in a thriller and 4-2 Saturday in a not-as-close-as-it looks contest.
Friday night, Caps prospect Connor Carrick scored a shorthanded goal with 15 seconds left to lift the Bears to a victory. With the score tied, Hershey’s Mike Moore was assessed a double-minor penalty for high-sticking at 17:43. Carrick took a feed from Bears Captain, Garrett Mitchell and deflected the puck off of a Portland defender’s skate past McKenna.
A few seconds later while still on the penalty kill, the Bears were called for icing, sending head coach Troy Mann into a furious tirade. He was assessed a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct at 19:58, which could be what provided the Hershey spark in Saturday’s game.
Determined not to find themselves in a similar situation, the Bears took a four-goal lead into the final period and hung on despite a Portland two-man advantage late in the game for the second straight night. Caps prospect Travis Boyd and Chris Brown, who is on conditioning assignment from Washington, each scored a goal in the first period while the Bears were on the Power Play. Those goals were bookended by Saturday’s other goals scored by Bourque (assisted by Walker and Stanton) and Paul Carey (assisted by Stanton and Stephenson). Additionally, the Bears defense once again came up big in shutting down two Portland two-man advantages, one in the second period, and one in the third which did result in Portland’s second goal of the game.
The Bears engaged in three fights over the two games with Portland. Sill and Acolatse dropped the gloves early Friday night. Sill then engaged McKegg Saturday over a hit into the boards and Mitchell gallantly took on Flick. Also netting goals for the Bears Friday night were Chris Bourque (assisted by Ness and Camper) and Dustin Gazley (assisted by Stanton and Brown).
Final Notes – The Bears got quite a bit of luck this past week as at least three of their seven goals deflected off Portland skaters. The referee who assessed Mann a bench minor returned to Giant Center Saturday. Portland pulled Brittain Saturday at the end of the first period in favor of McKenna after Brittain allowed three goals on 13 shots, but returned Brittain to the goal for the third period after McKenna allowed a goal on six shots.
Up Next – Wednesday at home vs. Providence, Friday at Lehigh Valley, Saturday at Atlantic Division leader Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Weekly Prospect and Two-Way Contract Players Report
Riley Barber – 2 games/5 shots/-1
Chris Bourque – 2 games/7 shots/2 goals/1 assist/+1
Travis Boyd – 2 games/2 shots/1 goal/+1
Madison Bowey – 1 game/+1
Chris Brown – 2 games/9 shots/1 goal/1 assist/0
Carter Camper – 2 games/3 shots/1 assist/-1
Paul Carey – 2 games/5 shots/1 goal/0
Connor Carrick – 2 games/5 shots/1 goal/0
Sean Collins – 2 games/2 shots/1 assist/-1
Christian Djoos – 1 game/-1
Dan Ellis – 1 game/1 win/25 saves on 27 shots
Caleb Herbert – 0 games
Garrett Mitchell – 2 games/1 assist/+1
Mike Moore – 2 games/-1
Aaron Ness – 2 games/4 shots/3 assists
Liam O’Brien – 0 games – Out 4-6 weeks for MCL injury (Nov.7)
Zach Sill – 2 games/2 shots/0
Ryan Stanton – 2 games/4 shots/3 assists/+2
Chandler Stephenson – 2 games/4 shots/1 assist/0
Jakub Vrana – 0 games – Out for 3 months from Wrist surgery (Nov. 2)
Nathan Walker – 2 games/3 shots/1 assist/+1
By Julie Beidler