Photo: Springfield Thunderbirds
The Hershey Bears came back from a one goal deficit to overpower the Springfield Thunderbirds 4-2 on a three-assist, three-point night from soon-to-be Olympian Chris Bourque.
Nathan Walker returned to Hershey’s lineup and played as though he hadn’t missed a beat, as he made some great plays on the penalty kill. Mathias Bau scored his second game-winning goal of the season , while Pheonix Copley picked up his seventh win of the season.
Hershey Bears Lineup:
The first few minutes of the opening frame saw neither team able to solve the opposing netminder. However, the Thunderbirds struck first thanks to a goal from Maxim Mamin, who scored his fifth goal of the season at the 8:17 mark of the first period to take the one-goal lead before Hershey could register its first shot on goal. The Chocolate and White responded just under four minutes later on a goal from ever-productive forward Travis Boyd, who flicked one past Springfield netminder Samuel Montembeault, to tie the game 12:06 into regulation time. Bourque and defenseman Aaron Ness were credited with assists on the goal. A bad pass by Hershey resulted in a turnover and a goal by Jayce Hawryluk (his sixth of the season) to give Springfield the one-goal lead with less than five minutes to play in the opening frame. Hershey entered the first intermission down 2-1 and 8-7 in shots.
The second frame was Hershey’s to start with a bang, as Wayne Simpson deflected a shot off of Aaron Ness to tie the game at two within the first five minutes of the middle frame. Ness and Bourque each picked up their second helpers of the game. The game would remain at a stalemate for the majority of the period until Bears forward Mathias Bau blasted a beautiful one-timer on Bourque’s third helper of the night (also assisted by Boyd) to give the Bears the 3-2 lead at the 16:15 mark of the period. The Bears ended the period up on the scoreboard and down 20-14 in shots.
The third period saw little action aside from a goal from Hershey right wing Riley Barber, who scored his ninth goal of the season assisted by Tyler Graovac and Nathan Walker, who recorded his first point in his first game back in Chocolate and White after being reclaimed on waivers by the Capitals. The period would be rather uneventful and Hershey held the Thunderbirds in check to skate away with the 4-2 victory in their last home game of the 2017 calendar year. The Thunderbirds, despite being outscored, outshot the Bears 28-22.
By Allison Shuey