Vitek Vanecek makes one of his 22 saves Sunday night en route to a shutout and CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors.
It was a rough weekend for the Hershey Bears who were used to “winning the week” lately. They picked up three of six points this weekend, their final weekend before the holiday break.
Hershey got stellar performances from Travis Boyd, Paul Carey, and Vitek Vanecek this week, but those performances were only good enough for one win this weekend as they fell 3-2 in a shootout Friday night in Lehigh Valley, 5-4 Saturday at home against the Hartford Wolfpack, but responded Sunday with a 4-0 victory over Springfield.
Friday night in Lehigh Valley the Bears had the lead twice, but were unable to emerge with a victory as the Phantoms were able to answer both of Hershey’s goals and then get the victory in the shootout.
Boyd put the Bears on top first with a goal late in the first period, but Lehigh Valley evened the score less than two minutes later. Stan Galiev, who returned to the lineup following an upper body injury, then scored with 17 seconds left in the first period to put Hershey back on top.
They held that lead until the end of the second when Lehigh Valley once again tied the game. After a scoreless third period and overtime, Christian Djoos, Galiev, and Christian Thomas were unable to connect on their shootout attempts. Andy Miele finally scored for the Phantoms on their third attempt for the 3-2 victory. Vitek Vanecek stopped 31 of 33 shots in the loss.
With Hartford in town Saturday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rebound after Friday’s loss. Hartford is at the bottom of the Atlantic Division, but once again, the Bears suffered their second setback in as many nights, falling 5-4.
Paul Carey extended his point-scoring streak to 17 games, scoring a power play goal to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead. But Hartford responded with a three-goal second period.
Hershey got goals from Boyd, Chris Bourque, and Nathan Walker, but the Wolfpack got goals after the first two en route to the victory. It was their second victory over the Bears in as many games.
On Sunday, Paul Carey pushed his streak to 18 games when he took a pass from Liam O’Brien and beat Reto Berra for the 1-0 lead with 65 seconds left in the first period. Carey then added an assist on Darren Dietz’s first goal of the season in the second period.
Hershey got a second goal in the middle period just 19 seconds later as Zach Sill pounced on a rebound of a Tyler Lewington shot to make it 3-0.
Bourque rounded out the scoring with a power play goal early in the third period. Djoos, who ended the week with four assists, passed the puck to Bourque who fired it through traffic and into the net for his second goal of the week.
After the game Vanecek was named the first star. The Czech goalie, who is often a man of few words in on-ice interviews, simply said, “Merry Christmas” to the 10,565 on hand.
Hershey’s power play was 4 for 11 on the week. The penalty kill was 12 for 13.
Hershey is now off until December 26 when they travel to Lehigh Valley. They head to Syracuse on December 28 before returning to Giant Center Friday to host Bridgeport at 7:00. Saturday’s home contest against Providence is a 5:00 start.
|#||Name||Games played||Goals||Assists||+/-||Shots||Pen Min.|
Joe Cannata (0-1) 16 saves on 21 shots
Vitek Vanecek (1-1, 1 SOL, 1 SO) 53 saves on 55 shots
THREE STARS (opponent)
- Boyd (LV), Vanecek (Springfield)
- Boyd (Hartford), Carey (Springfield)
- C. Bourque (Hartford), Vanecek (LV), Djoos (Springfield)
Dustin Gazley (lower body) – projected out until mid-February
Riley Barber (upper body) – projected out until mid-January
Tim McGauley (upper body)
ADD – Joey Leach – recalled from South Carolina by Hershey – Dec. 18
ADD – Tim McGauley – reassigned by Washington to Hershey from South Carolina – Dec. 18
ADD – Domenic Monardo – recalled from South Carolina by Hershey – Dec. 18
DEL – Zach Sanford – recalled by Washington – Dec. 17
DEL – Joey Leach – returned on loan to South Carolina – Dec. 14
DEL – Tim McGauley – reassigned by Washington to South Carolina – Dec. 14
DEL – Domenic Monardo – returned on loan to South Carolina – Dec. 14
By Julie Beidler @juliebeidler