The Hershey Bears closed out their three-game weekend set with a 4-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday night at Giant Center in Chocolate town. The win, their second consecutive, improves the Bears record to 3-5-0-1. The Bears are back in action Friday night in Rochester when they take on the Americans. Puck drop is 7:05 PM.
Adam Carlson got the start in goal for the Hershey Bears. Chris Nell got the start in goal for the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Scratches for the Bears – Pheonix Copley, Vitek Vanecek, Mathias Bau, Kris Bindulis. Attendance was 10,489.
The Bears wasted little time in being called for the game’s first penalty, as Chris Bourque was called for tripping just 1:22 into the game. However, the Bears would botch the game’s first tally with a break away goal finished by Wayne Simpson at the 3:34 mark of the opening frame. Travis Boyd and Chris Bourque were credited with the assists. Travis Boyd setup the score with a beautiful deke-and-dish to Simpson, who was staring at the yawning cage.
The Wolf Pack would quickly tie it up with a goal by Steven Fogarty at the 6:08 mark of the first period. The goal was setup by a turnover in the Bears zone by Connor Hobbs.
The Bears would get their first power play of the game at the 10:52 mark, and the Bears would make good use of it. Chris Bourque would fire one on net, that was aided by excellent screening, to give the Bears a 2-1 lead at the 11:25 mark of the opening frame.
The period would end with the Bears leading 2-1. The Wolf Pack led in shots on goal 14-12 for the opening frame. The Bears were 1 for 3 on the power play and the Wolf Pack was 0 for 2. This was the first time the Bears led after 20 minutes of play all season.
The Bears would once again start a period with a penalty as Zach Sill was called for slashing just 1:36 into the middle frame, but the Bears penalty kill would once again successfully squash the Wolf Pack’s man-advantage. Just like the first period, the Nears would answer an early penalty kill with an ensuing power play, but like the first period, would,also be unable to convert on the man advantage.
The teams would exchange additional power plays without any changes to the scoreboard. However, the Bears would take full advantage of their next power play opportunity, as Lucas Johansen would score his first career AHL goal at the 15:23 mark of the middle frame, giving the Bears a 3-1 lead.
Following the goal, the Captains would drop the gloves as Garett Mitchell and Joe Whitney would tussle behind the Wolf Pack’s goal.
The period would end with the Bears leading 3-1. Hershey outshot Hartford 9-8 for the second period, and led 22-20 after two periods of play. Like the first period, the Bears went 1 for 3 and the Wolf Pack 0 for 2 on the power play in the middle frame.
The Bears would be the benefactors of the first power play of the final frame, as the Wolf Pack was whistled for playing without a helmet at 1:39 of the third period, but the Bears would fail to capitalize.
The Wolf Pack would draw to within one when Steven Fogarty would register his second tally of the game at the 15:26 mark of the final frame, closing the gap to 3-2. Fogarty beat Carlson on both goals to the short side.
The Bears would head to their eighth power play of the game when the Wolf Pack sent a breakout pass over the glass, drawing a delay of game penalty at the 7:39 mark, but once again the Bears would be unable to find the back of the net.
Liam O’Brien would add an insurance goal that was setup by a beautiful breakout and feed by Dustin Gazley, giving the Bears a 4-2 lead at the 11:35 mark.
The Wolf Pack would add a late goal with their goalie pulled in 6-on-5 play with 17 seconds left in the game.
Coach Mann’s post game media session:
Interviews with Lucas Johansen, Adam Carlson and Riley Barber:
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM HERSHEY