Photo Courtesy: Jussports
The Hershey Bears crushed the Charlotte Checkers 5-1 in Charlotte’s first trip to the Giant Center since 2014. The Bears entered the game needing secondary scoring and they got all that and more. The two teams will play tomorrow at 5:00 PM at Giant Center.
Bears’ Lineup vs. Charlotte Checkers
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) January 6, 2018
The Bears recognized Chris Bourque for being selected to the United States’ Men’s Olympic Team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea next month. In addition, Liam O’Brien suited up in his 200th game as a Bear.
There was no scoring through 20 minutes.
Pheonix Copley stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first frame.
Each team received one penalty but neither could find the back of the net. Defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler got called for hooking with 4:27 left in the period for the Bears.
The Checkers outshot the Bears 10-3 through 20 minutes. Only one Bears’ forward, center Tyler Graovac, had a shot on goal. The Bears only had a single shot on their lone power play of the period.
The Checkers struck first with 6:33 remaining in the middle frame with a goal from defenseman Jake Chelios. Copley was screened and the puck floated through a maze of players to find its way to the back of the net. Charlotte took a 1-0 lead on a shot from the point.
John Albert struck 1:17 later, squeaking one past Checkers goalie Alex Nedeljikovic. Albert banked the puck in off of a Checkers’ skate and past Nedeljikovic to tie the game at one after taking a pass from Dustin Gazley. Albert’s strike was his third tally of the season.
Riley Barber sniped one past Nedeljikovic with 30 seconds remaining in the period from the right circle after taking a cross-ice feed from Tyler Graovac. The Bears took the 2-1 lead on just their ninth shot of the game. The goal was the first power-play goal of the night. Barber’s goal was his 10th of the year.
The Bears had a single shot on net in the first 10 minutes of the period. The Checkers led in shots 19-9 after two periods and 9-6 during the middle frame. Riley Barber had a third of the Bears’ shots.
The Bears had three power plays and the Checkers had two through two periods but the Bears were the only one to take advantage, scoring once. Nathan Walker took two of Hershey’s three penalties.
The Bears entered the game with a 12-0-0-2 record when leading after 40 minutes.
The two teams entered the third period playing four-on-four hockey due to coincidental minors dealt out to Nathan Walker and Roland McKeown for roughing after the second-period buzzer sounded.
Colby Williams curled the puck around Nedeljikovic for a yawning open net goal off of Nathan Walker’s rebound. The marker extended the Bears’ lead to 3-1 at 6:08 of the third period.
Zach Sill made it 4-1 10:50 into the third off a rebound of defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler’s shot. Sill kicked the puck from skate to stick for a wide-open cage to extend the Bears’ lead.
The Checkers pulled Nedeljikovic with 7:40 left in the final frame.
Wayne Simpson made it 5-1 with 6:01 left, throwing the puck into the empty net from the Bears’ blueline.
Pheonix Copley made 32 saves in the win while Nedeljikovic stopped 18 shots that came his way.
Hershey would go one for four on their power plays while Charlotte was held scoreless on both of their opportunities with the extra man.
The Bears beat the Checkers for the second time in three games this season.
Troy Mann Postgame
By Harrison Brown