The Hershey Bears dominated from the start and started the weekend off right, crushing the Providence Bruins 4-1 behind 2 goals from Mathias Bau and a strong performance by goalie Pheonix Copley, who made 31 stops. The win, their fifth in the last six games (and their third straight on the road), moved the Bears above .500 for the first time this season.
Scoring: Riley Barber scored 2:38 in on the Bears’ first shot of the game on the power play. Chris Bourque and Liam O’Brien picked up the assists for Hershey. Bourque added to his league-leading point total with his 17th assist and 24th point in 17 games.
Mathias Bau sniped one from the right circle 5:57 into the contest to make it a 2-0 Hershey goal. Tyler Graovac fed him in front, registering his first point as a Bear. Riley Barber had the other assist. Bau’s goal was just on the fourth Bears’ shot.
The Good: Hershey jumped on the Bruins early, scoring twice on four shots in the first 5:57 of the game. Riley Barber contributed on both of the Bears’ goals.
The Bad: The Bears trailed in shots 12-11 through 20 minutes.
The Ugly: The Bears took 5 penalties and were on the penalty kill three times in the period but killed all of them, including an extended 5 on 3 where Providence failed to generate anything at all.
Scoring: Bau picked up his second goal of the night off assists from Anthony Peluso and Mason Mitchell.
The Good: Hershey continued to look strong, adding to their lead and fighting off another 5 on 3 advantage for Providence.
The Bad: Penalties continued to mount for Hershey, giving the Bruins and chance to get back in the game. Fortunately, the Bears penalty killers came through.
Scoring: Justin Hickman got the Bruins on the board at the 2:16 mark on a breakaway goal, trimming the Bears’ lead to 3-1.
Tyler Graovac picked up his first goal for Hershey in just his second game with the club, picking up an empty-netter with just 6 seconds left for a 4-1 lead. Dustin Gazley and Mathias Bau picked up assists.
The Good: Despite giving up an early goal, Hershey continued to play well and Copley never let the Bruins back in the game, picking up his fifth win in a row.
The Bad: Hickman’s breakaway came on a Hershey turnover. Hershey finished just 1 for 6 on the power play.
The Ugly: The ugly was all Providence, as the Bruins took 3 penalties in the third, ending any real comeback chance.
Three Stars of the Game
First Star: Mathias Bau
Second Star: Pheonix Copley
Third Star: Riley Barber
Shots: Bears: 24 Bruins: 32
Power Play: Bears: 1/6 Bruins: 0/6
The AHL box score is here.
The Bears and Bruins are back at it again on Sunday in Providence.
By Harrison Brown