Photo: Tori Hartman
Just one week after securing their first win of the season, the Hershey Bears won their first game at Giant Center this season with a thrilling 3-2 win over the Providence Bruins. Connor Hobbs came through in a big way as his first professional hockey goal turned out to be the game-winner.
The opening period featured a slew of penalties, seven between the two teams to be exact. Hershey went to the sin bin four times while Providence took a trip there three times. Both teams cashed in on their first power plays of the game.
At 6:01 into the contest, Tyler Lewington was called for hooking. 20 seconds later, the Bruins struck first on a goal by Colton Hargrove. Colby Cave passed it cross ice to Austin Czarnik. Czarnik shot the puck and it went off the blocker of Bears goaltender Parker Milner. Hargrove banged it home.
The Bears responded when they went to the power play for the first time after Chris Breen was called for holding. Travis Boyd had the puck along the boards and found Chris Bourque across the ice. Bourque shot it and Liam O’Brien deflected it in for his first goal of the season.
Hershey led in shots 12-6 in the opening period.
This time the penalty count was trimmed to four with Providence serving three of those. The last penalty of the period, a tripping call on Ryan Fitzgerald resulted in the third goal of the game.
The Bears took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Travis Boyd at 13:43. Riley Barber shot the puck and it trickled around the goal line where Boyd poked it in. It was reviewed by the officials as the initial call was questionable at first as Bruins goalie Jordan Binnington put his glove over the puck after Boyd’s poke. There was talk that Binnington stopped it right before the puck crossed the goal line but the officials saw otherwise as the goal stood.
Just like the previous period, Hershey outshot Providence 12-6.
The Bears continued their successful penalty kill by staving off a 5-on-3 power play by the Bruins in the early part of the third. Wanye Simpson went to the box for tripping while Barber headed to the sin bin for a delay of game 1:21 later.
Unfortunately after the kill, the Bruins tied it on Hargrove’s second goal of the game. Hargrove shot the puck through the legs of Simpson.
After Tommy Cross was whistled for interference, the Bears took the lead for good on another power play goal on a one-timer from Connor Hobbs off a pass by Bourque. For Hobbs, it was his first professional hockey goal.
The Bears would hang on for a 3-2 win, notching their first win on home ice. The shot total final was led by the Bears 28-20. Milner stopped 18 of 20 shots including a big glove save with under 30 seconds to go.
The Bears will host the Hartford Wolfpack on Sunday at 5 p.m. from Giant Center. The game highlights:
Head Coach Troy Mann’s post game media session:
AHL box score here.
Bears recap is here.
By Michael Marzzacco