It was a wild week for the Hershey Bears, that didn’t go exactly as they had hoped. They lost to Bridgeport Wednesday night 7-6 at Giant Center, had their 13-game point streak snapped at Providence Friday in a 5-2 loss, then defeated Springfield Saturday 4-3 in a shootout.
Wednesday night’s game was a make-up from January 24th. It was also Mike Moore Bobblehead night and Hometown Heroes Night. The rookies and Scott Gomez did just about everything possible to secure a win, but in the end, the Bears were not able to solve Milner, who came in after Gibson had given up five goals to Hershey.
Jakub Vrana turned in 2 goal and one assist night. Fellow rookie Riley Barber had a goal and two assists, while NHL veteran Scott Gomez turned in a four-assist night, but it wasn’t enough as Bridgeport scored a goal late in the game after pulling Milner to tie the game at 6-6.
Connor Carrick got the Bears on the board early in the first period, but Bridgeport was able to get back-to-back goals on Justin Peters including a penalty shot goal by Colin Markison. Vrana then tied the game on a Power Play goal, but a third goal was scored on Peters with just 10 seconds to go in the first period to make it 3-2 Bridgeport.
Photo: Chocolate Chirps
In the second period, rookie Travis Boyd tallied his 14th of the season to tie the game off a cross-ice pass from Gomez. His goal was followed by goals from Zach Sill (third of the season) and Barber (15th of the season) before the Bears and Peters allowed Bridgeport a shortie to end the seconds period.
Vrana then scored his seventh of the season, but Bridgeport didn’t quit and ended up scoring the last two goals of regulation to send the game into overtime where the Bears found themselves outnumbered after Peters sent the puck out of play in the Bears end for a delay of game, but the game ended in a shootout as neither team managed any offense.
AHL-leading scorer Chris Bourque, Vrana, and Gomez were all stopped by Milner while Rowe, Hershey-affiliate South Carolina’s captain, scored first for Bridgeport to end the game.
Photo: Chocolate Chirps
Friday in Providence, Chandler Stephenson got the Bears on the board early and Gomez scored late in the third on the PowerPlay, but it was all Providence in between, and the Bears fell 5-2, ending their 13-game point streak.
Bourque was behind the goal line and found Stephenson in front of the crease for the early 1-0 lead, but Providence responded with five straight goals before Barber passed the puck to Bourque who faked and slid the puck to Gomez for the Power Play goal with 2:00 to go in the game.
In Springfield on Saturday, Connor Carrick tallied the game-winning goal in the shootout as the Bears got back in the win column with a 4-3 victory over the Falcons.
Barber and Boyd tallied second period goals within 90 seconds of each other to tie the game at 2-2. Bourque then netted a Power Play goal before the end of the second period to give the Bears their first lead of the game.
They held that lead until 14:48 in the third period then Samuelsson tied the game once again.
The teams battled scoreless through the remainder of the third and the overtime frame. In the shootout, Carrick and Christian Djoos each scored in the first two rounds and Peters turned away both Springfield attempts for the victory.
For the three game stretch, the Power Play was 4 for 14, while the Penalty Kill was 11 for 16.
The Bears host Providence Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Sunday is Dollar Dog Night.
Weekly Prospect and Two-Way Contract Players Report
Dan Ellis – 0-1 – 20 saves on 25 shots
Justin Peters – 1-1 (SOW/SOL) – 43 saves on 49 shots
(3-4 in Shootout)
Tyler Lewington – Week-to-week
Paul Carey – unknown injury – has been an injury
scratch the past two games
Weekly Stars Report (opponent)
1. Carrick (Spr.)
2. Vrana (Bridge.)
3. Gomez (Bridge.), Bourque (Spr.)
Bears in the Top 20
Bourque – 1st in points (51), 3rd in goals (22),
2nd in assists (34), T-5th in PP Assists (15), T-10th PP Goals (8), T-1st Insurance Goals (5), 8th in OT goals (2), T-4th in shots (137)
Carrick – 10th in +/-
Ness – 20th in +/-
Boyd – 4th in Rookie scoring (37 points)
Barber – 6th in Rookie scoring (36 points)
Ellis – 14th GAA (2.55), 10th in wins (16), T-6th
in shutouts (3), 14th in minutes (1576)
Peters – 15th in minutes (1532), 19th in saves (671),
13th in Shootouts
Both Burgdoerfer and Gazley are AHL-only contract players.
Scott Gomez was signed to a PTO on January 15
By Julie Beidler