Photo: Tori Hartman
The Hershey Bears fell to the Willes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-1 Sunday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Penguins quickly tallied three goals in the first 12 minutes of the game and that would prove to be enough for the win. The loss gives the Bears just two points from the weekend set of three games. The loss also dropped the Bears record to 12-12-0-3 for the season. The Bears are back in action Wednesday night when they host the Providence Bruins at Giant Center. Puck drop is 7:00 pm.
Pheonix Copley (6-3-2, 2.85 GAA, .898 sv%) got the start in goal for the Bears. Sean Maguire (0-1-0, 1.88 GAA, .935 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Penguins. The Bears starting lines and defensive pairs for the contest:
Bears scratches: Connor Hobbs, Anthony Peluso, Hampus Gustafsson, Tommy Hughes, and Mason Mitchell.
The Bears went to the penalty-kill just 10 seconds into the contest as Tyler Lewington was called for hooking, but the Bears would effectively squash the Pens man-advantage. Shots on goal were 5-2 in favor of the Pens after the first five minutes of play.
The Penguins would strike first with a goal by former Bear Christian Thomas at the 7:15 mark of he opening frame. The puck took a bad bounce behind the Bears goal and bounced out into the slot where Tho as drove home his one-timer.
The Penguins would stretch their lead to 2-0 while on a 5-on-3 power play. Daniel Sprong would notch his 12th of the season at the 10:10 mark of the opening frame. Sprong has goals in 4 straight games and a goal in every meeting against Hershey.
Former Washington Capitals prospect Thomas DiPauli would stretch the Pens lead to 3-0 at 12:06 of the first period. DiPauli’s goal was also the result of a bad turnover by the ears in their own zone.
The Bears would finally get on the scoreboard with a power play goal from Tyler Graovac with 18 seconds left in the opening frame. Dustin Gazley and Riley Barber would be credited with the helpers.
The period would end with the Pens leading 3-1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey 15-4 for the first period. The Pens were 1 for 4 and the Bears 1 for 1 on the man advantage.
The Bears started with an intensified forecheck and greater time in the Pens zone to start the second period. The Bears led 5-3 in shots on goal for the first five minutes of the middle frame.
The Pens withstood the early press by Hershey, ans would even-up shots at 6-6 through the first 13 minutes of play in the second period. The Bears would get two power plays for the period but would be unable to capitalize on both opportunities.
The period would expire without a score. The Bears outshot the Penguins 10-7 for the middle frame. The Pens led in shots on goal 22-14 through two periods of play.
A rather pedestrian start to the final frame, as shots on goal were 2-1 in favor of the Bears after seven minutes of play.
The Penguins would stretch their lead to 4-1 with a goal by Zach Trotman at 9:48 of the final frame.
The Penguins would hold on for the 4-1 win. Shots were 5-5 for the final frame. The Penguins outshot he Bears 27-19 for the game. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 2 for 8 md the Bears were 1 for 3 on the power play.
Head Coach Troy Mann’s postgame press conference:
- Attendance: 7,298
- The AHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM HERSHEY