It’s been quite some time since the Hershey Bears have swept a week – November 23-26 to be exact. It has been even longer since they won three games in three days – November 4-6. But they did it this weekend with victories in Binghamton Friday night and followed that up with back-to-back home victories over the St. John’s IceCaps Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Stan Galiev stole the show Friday night in Binghamton, notching as many goals as the Senators in Hershey’s 5-3 victory.
Galiev’s hat trick, his first of his AHL career (he had one for the Reading Royals of the ECHL), came when the forward scored unassisted at the 13:32 mark of the second period, 5:44 mark of the third, and finally at the 17:46 mark in the third. Paul Carey and Brad Malone assisted on the second and third goals.
But it was the Senators who struck first in the game, scoring on Vitek Vanecek just 49 seconds into the game. Hershey captain, Garrett Mitchell, then tied the game with his sixth goal of the season at 7:06 with Chris Bourque and Christian Djoos earning assists.
Binghamton would retake the lead before the first intermission when Hubert Labrie was sent to the penalty box for slashing.
In the second period, Bourque tied the game with his 13th goal of the season with Darren Dietz and Chandler Stephenson recording assists. Then Galiev scored his first of three to give the Bears their first lead of the game, 3-2, heading into the second intermission.
Binghamton added another power play goal between Galiev’s third period tallies with Djoos serving a minor for tripping, but the Russian winger’s game-winner and insurance marker sealed the deal for the Bears.
Vanecek, who got the start Friday night, stopped 30 of 33 shots en route to the victory.
Galiev remained hot Saturday night as the Bears returned to action at Giant Center for back-to-back contests against the St. John’s IceCaps. Parker Milner recorded his first victory at Giant Center for the Bears with 29-save performance.
The first of two goals for the IceCaps came just 89 seconds into the contest, but the Bears battled back quickly behind first period goals from Paul Carey, Tyler Lewington,and Ryan Bourque.
Carey’s goal came at 4:51 after Lewington cleared the puck ahead. Carey collected the puck and skated to the offensive zone face-off dot and fired a shot past Yann Danis.
Less than three minutes later, Lewington forced a turnover and backhanded the puck into the net for the 2-1 lead. Ryan Bourque, who also caused a turnover, got his first goal of the season just over two minutes later.
In the second period, Hershey scored again when Brad Malone dropped the puck to a trailing Galiev, who didn’t hesitate, notching his fourth goal of the weekend.
St. John’s got one back later in the second, but a power play goal from Christian Thomas, who leads the team with 17 goals, put the game out of reach.
When the two teams squared off at 2:00 on Sunday, the Bears picked up where they left off a night before with Chandler Stephenson and Djoos recording first period goals.
Vanecek got a rare assist as the goalie sent the puck into the neutral zone, and Stephenson, who was coming off the bench for a timely line change, jumped on the puck and beat Charlie Lindgren.
A little over a minute later, Djoos struck for his sixth goal of the season.
The IceCaps recorded the only goal of the second period, but Chris Bourque quickly pushed the Bears back to a two-goal lead early in the third when Zach Sanford, who was behind the St. John’s net, centered the puck to Bourque for the 3-1 lead.
St. John’s got a second goal late in the third and pulled Lindgren with a little over two minutes to play, but Vanecek and Hershey hung on to sweep the week.
Hershey’s power play was 1 for 8 on the week. The penalty kill was 9 for 11.
Hershey travels Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday, hosts Hartford at Giant Center Saturday, and then travels to Bridgeport Sunday. Sunday’s game will be the first of five straight road games for the Bears.
*NEW – NovaCaps Three Stars of the Week
- Stan Galiev – 4 goals, 1 assist
- Paul Carey – 1 goal, 4 assists
- Vitek Vanecek – 2-0, 58 saves on 63 shots, 1 assist
|#||Name||Games played||Goals||Assists||+/-||Shots||Pen Min.|
Vitek Vanecek 2-0 – 58 saves on 63 shots
Parker Milner 1-0 – 29 saves on 31 shots
THREE STARS (opponent)
- Galiev (Bingo), Carey (St. John’s – Fri), C. Bourque (St. John’s – Sat)
- Galiev (St. John’s – Fri), Stephenson (St. John’s – Sat)
- C. Bourque (Bingo), Milner (St. John’s – Fri), Vanecek (St. John’s – Sat)
Dustin Gazley (lower body) – projected out until mid-February
Riley Barber (upper body) – projected out until mid-January
Madison Bowey (lower body) – out indefinitely – projected April return
Nathan Walker (upper body) – 4-6 weeks
Aaron Ness (illness)
ADD – Joey Leach – Recalled from loan to South Carolina – Feb. 1
ADD – Christian Djoos – Returned on loan from Washington – Feb. 1
ADD – Justin Agosta – Signed to PTO – Feb. 2
ADD – Chandler Stephenson – Returned on loan from Washington – Feb. 2
DEL – Jakub Vrana – Recalled from loan by Washington – Feb. 3
ADD – Parker Milner – Recalled from loan to South Carolina – Feb. 3
ADD – Jakub Vrana – Returned on loan from Washington – Feb. 4
FYI – Roster Changes from last year to this year
- Christian Thomas
- Zach Sanford
- Brad Malone
- Vitek Vanecek
- Joe Cannata
- Carter Camper (F) – playing for LV (AHL)
- Sean Collins (F) – playing in KHL
- Mike Moore (D) – playing in DEL (Germany)
- Ryan Stanton (D) – playing for Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
- Connor Carrick (D) – traded to Toronto
- Erik Burgdoerfer (D) – playing for Rochester Americans and Buffalo Sabers
- Dan Ellis (G)
- Justin Peters (G) – playing for Texas Stars
By Julie Beidler