Photo: Tori Hartman
The Hershey Bears fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Sunday evening at Giant Center in Hershey. The Bears’ Chris Bourque would score the game’s only goal in the opening frame and the Phantom’s Nic Aube-Kubel would notch the lone goal in the second period, sending the two teams to the second intermission locked in a 1-1 tie. After a scoreless third, the Phantoms would win it with a goal by T.J. Brennan early in the extra frame. The Bears are now 17-17-3-3. The Bears next take the ice on Wednesday when they travel to Springfield to take on the Thunderbirds.
Pheonix Copley (8-6-3, 3.04 GAA, .892 sv%) got the start in goal for the Bears. Alex Lyon (9-8-2, 3.24 GAA, .898 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Phantoms. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Scratches – Jeremy Langlois, Garrett Mitchell, Anthony Peluso, Colby Williams, Madison Bowey and Jakub Vrana. (Bowey and Vrana were “paper” roster moves prior to Capitals going on their five-day bye-week).
The Bears were awarded the game’s first power play just 1:24 into the contest, but the Bears generated little pressure and just one shot on the advantage. The Phantoms led 4-1 in shots on goal after six minutes of play.
The Bears would strike first with a goal by Chris Bourque at 15:12 of the opening frame. Mathias Bau and Travis Boyd were credited with the assists. Boyd’s assist was the 100th assist in his AHL career. This was Bourque’s first goal since December 9th.
The period would end with the Bears holding on to a 1-0 lead. The Phantoms outshot the Bears 9-7 for the first 20 minutes.
The Bears picked up the shot production to begin the middle frame, outshooting Lehigh Valley 4-1 through the first six minutes of the second period. However it was the Phantoms that would be the first to dent the scoreboard in the second period with a goal by Nicolas Aube-Kubel at 8:59 of the middle stanza.
The period would end with the game tied 1-1. Shots on goal for the middle frame were also tied at 10-10, with the Phantoms leading in shots 19-17 through two periods of play.
The Bears were leading in shots 4-2 after the first six minutes of play in the final frame. The Bears would get the period’s first power play but were unable to capitalize on the man-advantage.
After a crucial penalty kill, the Bears returned to the power play with 5:05 left in the game, but were once again unable to convert, dropping the Bears to 0 for 5 on their power play opportunities. Pheonix Copley made a great shorthanded breakaway save to keep the game tied at one.
Pheonix Copley would make two huge saves late in the game to keep things tied.
Regulation would end in a 1-1 tie. Shots on goal were tied 12-12 for the third period, with the Phantoms leading 31-29 after three periods of play.
The Bears were immediately whistled for a penalty, as Aaron Ness was called for holding, and the Phantoms would quickly end the game. T.J. Brennan potted the power play game winner just 44 seconds into the overtime period.
- Travis Boyd registered his 100th career AHL assist.
- The Bears have lost three straights games 2-1.
- Attendance: 10,089
- AHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM HERSHEY