In a rare 2:00 start due to the Super Bowl, the Hershey Bears took the ice to host the St. John’s IceCaps for the second consecutive game. It was the final time the two teams will meet at Giant Center as the IceCaps are relocating to Laval, Quebec at the end of the season.
Like a night ago, the Bears came out on top of the IceCaps with a 3-2 victory. Winners of all three games this weekend, the Bears now have points in each of their last six games (winning five of six).
Unlike last night’s game, the Bears got on the board first thanks to Chandler Stephenson. Early in the first period, Vitek Vanecek pushed the puck toward center ice, and Chandler Stephenson came off the bench, picked it up, and beat Charlie Lindgren for the 1-0 lead.
Then, just over a minute later, Christian Djoos took a pass from Christian Thomas for his sixth goal of the season. Thomas, a former member of the IceCaps, has now recorded two points in two games for the Bears against his former club.
Meanwhile Vitek Vanecek, in addition to his assist, was solid in net for the Bears stopping 12 shots in the first and 10 of 11 in the second, with St. John’s getting on the board with just 62 seconds remaining in the second period. Vanecek ended up with 28 saves on 30 shots on the afterrnoon.
Then in the third, with the Bears on the power play, Zach Sanford skated behind the St. John’s net and centered a pass to Chris Bourque, who buried it in the back of the net for the 3-1 lead with 16:19 to go in the game.
St. John’s made it interesting late with a goal off a turnover with 3:09 left on the clock. The IceCaps then pulled their goaltender with 2:21 to play.Hershey’s power play, which has climbed to 7th in the league was 0 for 3 on the afternoon. The penalty kill, which was 4-for-4 a night ago, was 2 for 2.
The Bears head to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday night before returning to Giant Center Saturday to host the Hartford Wolfpack. They will then head to Bridgeport Sunday for the first of five straight road games.
The three stars of the game were Chris Bourque, Chandler Stephenson, and Vitek Vanecek. Attendance was 7,946.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) February 5, 2017