The Hershey Bears scored a 2-1 overtime win Wednesday night against Providence, but had some post-Thanksgiving difficulties on the road, falling 6-5 in a shootout at Lehigh Valley Friday and 3-2 Saturday at Wilkes-Barre.
Friday night Justin Peters came up huge in goal for the Bears, but it was Paul Carey who stole the show when he redirected an Aaron Ness shot late into the overtime period Wednesday night to lift the Hershey Bears to a 2-1 victory over the Providence Bruins. In a game that appeared destined to disappoint home faithful, Carey came up big, scoring on the Power Play at 16:36 in the first and then netting the game winner late in the game. Between Carey’s goals though, the Bears struggled to keep the puck in the Providence zone, managing only 21 shots on goalie Malcolm Subban. The visiting Bruins tested Justin Peters 28 times, scoring once on the Power Play in the first period, almost three minutes after the Bears took the lead. Tied at 1 and trailing 22-10 in shots, Mike Moore answered a challenge from Brett Bellemore, taking down the Providence defenseman much to the delight of the Giant Center crowd, 8:00 into the third period. But it wasn’t until 3:43 in overtime that Carey put the final exclamation point on the night.
That momentum didn’t carry over to the weekend however. Friday night at Lehigh Valley, the Bears found the back of the net often in regulation, but were unable to do so in overtime or the shootout, losing 6-5 to the Phantoms. Mike Moore and Tyler Lewington each netted their first goals of the season in the first period, but the Phantoms slid five pucks past Dan Ellis, taking a 5-4 lead late in the game before Paul Carey sent the game into overtime. In the shootout, Tim Brent notched a goal and the win for the Phantoms in the fifth round. Ellis finished the game with 29 saves on 35 shots. Hershey also got goals from Travis Boyd and Nathan Walker for a total of five goals on 29 shots.
The downward spiral continued Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre as the Bears fell 3-2 in regulation to the first place Penguins. Eric Burgfoerfer scored his first goal of the season
and added an assist on Riley Barber’s goal late in the game, but Wilkes-Barre had jumped out to a 3-0 lead and hung on from there. Peters stopped 30 of 33 shots in the losing effort
for Hershey. The Bears were called for five penalties in the second and third periods, one of which resulted in a Power Play goal for the Penguins.
Final Notes – The Bears were without their captain, Garrett Mitchell who will miss 6-8 weeks due to thumb surgery. In his post-game interview Wednesday, Troy Mann assured reporters and listeners that the injury did not come from Mitchell’s fight last Saturday, but noted that Mitchell’s presence on the ice was surely missed Wednesday. Mann chose to go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in Mitchell’s absence Wednesday and Sunday. With Chris Brown back in Washington, Austin Fyten and Tyler Lewington were recalled on Friday to Hershey from South Carolina. Up Next – Friday at Hartford, Saturday home vs. Lehigh Valley, and Sunday home vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Weekly Prospect and Two-Way Contract Players Report
Dan Ellis – 0-1 (shootout loss) 29 saves on 34 shots
Justin Peters – 1-1 (overtime win) 57 saves on 61 shots
Garrett Mitchell – Out 6-8 weeks for thumb surgery (Nov. 23)
Liam O’Brien – Out 4-6 weeks for MCL injury (Nov.7)
Jakub Vrana – Out for 3 months from Wrist surgery (Nov. 2)
By Julie Beidler