It wasn’t pretty, but it will do. The Hershey Bears started off their three-game road trip with a 5-4 victory over the Hartford Wolfpack. While the victory comes over the last place team in the Atlantic Division, it may have been just what the “doctor” ordered to instill some confidence back into this shaken team.
Vitek Vanecek went the distance in goal for the Bears, allowing four goals on 34 shots.
Meanwhile, Hershey’s heralded forwards did their thing, providing four of the five goals for the team, but none was bigger than Paul Carey’s goal that came with just 3:01 left on the clock.
Tied at 4-4, Carey netted his 13th of the season to propel the Bears to victory. D-men Colby Williams and Steve Weinstein got the assists on the game-winner.
Early on, another Hershey defenseman, Christian Djoos, got the assist on Garrett Mitchell’s goal for the 1-0 lead. It was Mitchell’s fifth of the season.
But Hartford would tie the game early in the second period while on the power play after Hubert Labrie was sent to the penalty box for holding late in the first period.
Hershey responded with a goal from defenseman Darren Dietz midway through the second period. Carey and Nolan Zajac, a defenseman recently signed by Hershey, assisted.
But once again, the Bears were unable to put a little breathing room between themselves and the Wolfpack as Hartford once again tied the game less than two minutes later.
But Stan Galiev (8) and Chris Bourque (11) provided a glimmer of hope as they scored within a two-minute span to give the Bears a 4-2 lead. Nathan Walker and Zach Sill earned assists on Galiev’s goal while Travis Boyd and Djoos assisted on Bourque’s power play goal.
Carey, with his game-winning goal and an assist earlier, earned first star honors, while Djoos was the third star with a pair of assists.
Hartford then got back-to-back goals of their own late in the second period and early in the third before Carey’s heroics sealed the deal for the Bears.
Hershey is off to Providence tomorrow and Springfield Saturday before the All-Star break. Bourque and Boyd are representing the Bears.
By Julie Beidler