It’s been an incredible stretch for the Hershey Bears since the return of Pheonix Copley. The Bears entered Wednesday night’s game with Binghamton riding a five-game winning streak that has catapulted the club into third place in the Atlantic Division and dispatched of the Senators, 3-1 in their final home game in March.
Hubert Labrie got Hershey on the board first when Riley Barber passed the puck across the ice to Labrie for the goal. Hampus Gustafsson earned his first point with the secondary assist.
Another Hershey defenseman, Tom Gilbert, added a goal in the second period. Christian Djoos stood behind the Senators’ net, found Gilbert to make it 2-0. Christian Thomas inched closer to becoming a member of the 50-point club with the secondary assist; he has 47 points in his first season as a Bear.
Then with 58 seconds left in the second period, Hershey struck again. Madison Bowey made a back-handed pass to Jakub Vrana who found himself too low to attempt a shot. Instead, he noticed Barber on the opposite side of the ice and made a perfect tape-to-tape pass. It was Barber’s 10th goal.
But it was Pheonix Copley who stole the show. He stopped 33 of 34 shots with the lone goal coming late in the game after Garrett Mitchell (holding) and Chandler Stephenson (slashing) were sent to the penalty box within 23 seconds of each other.
Before the game, Paul Carey was honored for being named this week’s CCM/AHL Player of the Week. He was presented with his award by Bryan Helmer, Hershey’s VP of Hockey Operations. Troy Mann predicted in his postgame interview that Carey could be the recall tomorrow (@ 5:50 mark).
Hershey was 0 for 5 on the Power Play. The Bears were 1 for 7 on the penalty kill with the lone goal coming during a 5-on-3 for Binghamton.
Barber, Copley, and Gilbert were named the three stars of the game.
Hershey’s record improved to 9-1 in March with the lone loss to Lehigh Valley. They have now won 6-straight games. They also have a 10-game winning streak on Giant Center ice.
Hershey leaves tomorrow morning for their final trip to St. John’s. They play Saturday and Sunday afternoon. They return to Giant Center on April 1st. It is Fan Appreciation Night.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) March 22, 2017