It was just the kind of response game the doctor, the coaching staff, and the fans needed. With the losing streak (including back-to-back overtime losses last weekend), the Hershey Bears jumped on top of Lehigh Valley early, saw the lead erased in the middle period, and then scored three straight goals for a 6-4 victory over their in-state rival.
Paul Carey put the Bears on the board first midway through the first period when he beat Alex Lyon stick side for his 11th goal of the season.
After Lehigh Valley’s Samuel Morin was sent to the penalty box for elbowing, the Bears got a powerplay goal from Aaron Ness who also went stick/blocker side. Jakub Vrana and Christian Thomas earned assists. Thomas also assisted on Carey’s earlier goal.
The second period got off to a rather shaky start for Hershey as the Phantoms quickly erased the 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals from Travis Sanheim, but the Bears responded when Colby Williams scored less than a minute later.
Williams, a defenseman, skated down the right side and centered the puck towards the net. It bounced off a defender’s skate and past Lyon. Carey and Travis Boyd were credited with assists.
Carey then earned his third point of the evening with the primary assist on Stan Galiev’s seventh goal of the season. While on the power play, Vrana passed the puck low to Carey who sent it to Galiev for the 4-2 lead.
Vrana then added a goal of his own. Nathan Walker fed the puck to Vrana for the 5-2 lead.
Lehigh Valley wouldn’t go away though as Greg Carey scored with 6:40 left in the game to make it 5-3 Hershey. He then added another goal to make it 5-4, but Zach Sill scored an empty net goal with 35 seconds left.
Joe Cannata earned the victory in net for the Bears. He stopped 21 of 25 shots.
Chandler Stephenson was recalled before the game. According to Troy Mann, he knew last night.” I knew about 11:30 last night. He’s not going to play tomorrow,” said Mann. The coach said that the Capitals were looking for a forward they could potentially use if there was an injury before they head out on their three-game road trip which starts off in Pittsburgh. “The plan is to continue to reward some of these younger players,” he said.
Complete game highlights:
Coach Mann post-game press conference:
Hershey hosts Binghamton tomorrow night for Star Wars Night. That game is a 5:00 start.
By Julie Beidler