Photo: Hershey Bears
The Hershey Bears held their annual “hometown heroes” event on Sunday night prior to their game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The evening featured special camouflage jersey’s worn by the Bears during warmups and the game. The jerseys were then auctioned off for charity following the game to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Veterans’ Trust Fund.
The evening included two special paintings by Joe Everson, to commemorate the occasion. The first painting was created during the national anthem, and the other was created during the game. Both paintings were included in the post-game auction to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Veterans’ Trust Fund.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) November 13, 2016
Everyone in attendance also received an American flag, and were treated to an opening puck-drop like no other:
GAME RECAP: (Zach Fisch)
In a game dominated by goaltending, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms earned a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Sunday evening at the GIANT Center. Both Lehigh Valley’s Alex Lyon, and Hershey’s Vitek Vanecek turned in solid performances in goal, but Lyon earned the nod as the game’s first star with 35 saves.
It was Vanecek who stole the show in the opening period, stopping 12 Lehigh Valley shots. He denied two breakaways, including stopping Greg Carey with his right pad late in the frame.
In the second period, a scramble in front of the Hershey goal resulted in Lehigh Valley taking a 1-0 lead at 7:27. Former Bear Chris Conner was credited with the goal, getting the last touch on the puck that appeared to deflect off the skate of Hershey’s Darren Dietz and into the net.
Lehigh Valley would strike again late in the period as Reece Willcox scored at 17:30. The defender blasted a slap shot from the right wing that beat Vanecek over the left shoulder to make it 2-0.
Needing a spark in the third period, Hershey got an early goal from Travis Boyd only 2:51 into the period to cut the Phantoms’ lead in half. Forward Paul Carey drove the goal for the Bears on the left wing, popping a shot off Lyon and up in the air. Boyd batted the airborne puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the season to make it 2-1.
The Bears fired 12 shots in the third period, but a late penalty to Paul Carey gave the Phantoms a power play. Will O’Neill squeaked a shot under the arm of Vanecek to make it 3-1 Lehigh Valley at 19:39.
The Bears outshot the Phantoms 36-31, but were 0-for-4 on the power play. The Phantoms were 1-for-3.
The evening was Hometown Heroes Night. The Bears wore special camouflage jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. The evening also featured a special performance from painter Joe Everson during the National Anthem.
Hershey returns to action on the road on Wednesday in Utica. Puck drop is 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on the Bears Radio Network
By Jon Sorensen