A night removed from a four-point night from Christian Djoos that put the Bears back into playoff position for the first time since January, Paul Carey took over the game, citing puck luck as he became the first Hershey player since Mathieu Perreault to notch four goals in a game.
Paul Carey logged his first professional hat trick by scoring a goal in each period to help Hershey jump out to a 4-0 lead, then tacked on fourth and nearly a fifth en route to a 6-4 victory.
Game highlights can be found here.
The first came 7:50 into the first period after Tom Gilbert sent the puck to Christian Djoos. They would earn assists on Carey’s 20th goal of the season.
Just over seven minutes later, Christian Thomas would score his 24th of the season on the powerplay. Chris Bourque sent the puck to Travis Boyd, who made a beautiful pass to Thomas fo make it 2-0 Hershey.
Then Carey netted his third of the weekend after Stan Galiev sent the puck to Boyd. Boyd, below the goalline, found Carey for the 3-0 lead.
Hershey made it 4-0 after Riley Barber notched his ninth of the season with the lone assist going to Chris Bourque.
But the wheels started to come off as the Bears started visiting the penalty box. With Colby Williams sitting for Hooking and Hubert Labrie in for Cross-checking, Hartford was able to get their first on the five-on-three advantage.
Then, just 39 seconds later, they connected on a five-on-four with Carey being sent to the box for an apparent Delay of game call.
But he made up for it with a power play goal for the hattrick midway through the third period. Chris Bourque and Galiev got the assists as Carey banked the puck into the net from below the goalline, but Hartford wasn’t done yet.
Hartford scored a pair of goals to make things interesting, but Paul Carey wasn’t done either.
He tacked on an empty net goal with over a minute to go to become the first Hershey player in seven years to score four in a game.
Carey appeared to have scored his fifth of the game as time expired. The officials talked it over after breaking up two fights which broke out perhaps in large part to the hit that Riley Barber took from Michael Paliotta which sent Barber to the locker room with 19 seconds left in the game.
Vitek Vanecek earned the victory by stopping 14 of 18 shots. Hershey’s PP was 2 for 6 and the PK was 3 for 5.
Carey was the game’s first star while Chris Bourque was second.
The game marked the debut of Hampus Gustafsson. The 6’4″ native of Ljungby, Sweeden centered Jakub Vrana and Barber.
Immediately following the game, Hershey boarded the bus for their final trip to Bridgeport for a 3:00 start to a game with huge playoff implications. Hershey is currently 4th and Bridgeport is 5th, just outside playoff position. Hershey returns to Giant Center for a rare Wednesday night contest with Binghamton before departing for St. John’s.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) March 18, 2017