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While the NHL may be in a break due to All-Star weekend, the American Hockey League has continued business as normal. While the Capitals managed to snap their three-game losing streak on Thursday against the Florida Panthers, the same cannot be said for their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears, who dropped a 3-1 decision to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for their eighth consecutive loss.
The first several minutes of the opening frame were rather uneventful, until Bears defenseman was called for tripping, putting the Sound Tigers on the power play. However, the Bears successfully killed off the subsequent man-advantage. The opening frame ended without much action, remaining scoreless through 20 minutes, with the Sound Tigers leading in shots 13-6.
Unlike the first period, the second period would see more action. Bears forward Anthony Peluso was called for holding at the 3:12 mark of the middle frame; while the Chocolate and White were able to kill of the Sound Tigers’ second man-advantage, the deadlocked score would last only just a bit longer, as Bridgeport center Scott Eansor took advantage of a 3-on-0 breakaway for his 15th goal of the season, with assists from Casey Bailey and Christopher Gibson, putting the Sound Tigers ahead 1-0. Things would take a scary turn when Bears winger Liam O’Brien crashed face-first into the boards, requiring the help of Bears Head Athletic Trainer Dan Stuck. Despite some good chances throughout the remainder of the period, the Bears found themselves down 1-0 after 40 minutes and ahead in shots 20-18.
The Bears would have to wait until the final frame to get their first power play, after Bridgeport’s Ben Holmstrom was called for high-sticking at the 3:27 mark. The Bears, however, were unable to convert. Just a few minutes later, Bears blueliner Colby Williams was hit with a hooking penalty, to put the Sound Tigers on their third man-advantage of the game. This time, it would Easnor again who gave Bridgeport the lead, scoring his 16th of the season and second of the game to put the Sound Tigers up 2-0. Just minutes later, Nathan Walker scored Hershey’s first power play goal of the game (his second of the season) with assists from Travis Boyd and soon-to-be Olympian Chris Bourque. Six minutes and twelve seconds later, Holmstrom scored his fifth tally of the season on an empty-net goal to give the Sound Tigers a safe 3-1 lead. The Bears would be unable to respond and as a result, dropped their eighth consecutive game. The final shot count would favor the Bears, 33-26.
By Michael Fleetwood