Photo: Hartford Wolfpack
The Hershey Bears beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-2 on Friday night in Hartford. After a scoreless opening frame, the Bears would strike first with a goal from Nathan Walker early in the second stanza. Hartford would answer in the waning minutes of middle period, making it 1-1 at the second intermission. Joe Whitney would give the Bears a late lead but that score was quickly answered by Hartford just seconds later. “The Wizard of Auz”, Nathan Walker, would pot the game winner with under two minutes to play for the victory. The Bears are back in action Saturday night when they host the Rockford Icehogs at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Pheonix Copley (10-12-5, 2.98 GAA, .894 sv%) started in net for the visiting Bears. This was Copley’s third straight start. Chris Nell (6-5-0, 3.12 GAA, .896 sv%) got the start in goal for the Wolf Pack. The Bears forward lines and defensive pairs for the game:
Bears Scratches: Mathias Bau (Lower Body), Tommy Hughes, Anthony Peluso and Mason Mitchell.
The Bears and Wolf Pack would battle to a scoreless draw for the opening 20 minutes. Hershey outshot Hartford 12-6 for the opening frame and had the greater number of scoring chances at the start.
The Wolf Pack had the only power play opportunities of the opening frame, but the Bears penalty kill was up to the challenge, as Hartford would go 0 for 2 on the man advantage.
The Bears would break the seal early in the middle frame with a rebound goal from Nathan Walker at the 4:31 mark. This was Walker’s fifth goal of the season. Jeremy Langlois and Wayne Simpson were credited with the helpers.
The Bears had a chance to blow the game wide open with an extended 5-on-3 power play midway through the middle period, but were unable to dent the twine, allowing the Wolf Pack to climb back into the game.
Hartford would tie the game with 1:15 remaining in the second period with a goal from Cole Schneider, his 11th tally of the season.
The second period would end with the game square at one a piece. Hershey continued to outshoot the Wolf Pack in the middle frame, 10-7, and outshot Hartford 22-13 through two periods of play.
The third period started with a majority of play taking place in the Bears zone, as Hartford threatened to take the lead in the first five minutes of the final frame.
The Bears would stymie a Wolf Pack power play opportunity midway through the period, and Pheonix Copley would come up big with several nice saves to keep the game tied at 1-1, as Hartford continued to surge.
But it would be Joe Whitney, acquired by the Bears from the Wolf Pack just two weeks ago, that would pot the go ahead goal at 17:57 of the third period.
Unfortunately Hartford would tie the game with 1:37 remaining in the period, making it 2-2.
But just seconds later Nathan Walker would do it again, scoring his second goal of the game at 18:32 to retake the lead for Hershey, 3-2.
Jeremy Langlois would add an empty net goal to seal the 4-2 victory for the Bears.
The Bears recap is here.
- This was the Bears 5th straight victory.
- The Bears outshot the Wolf Pack 29-23.
- Nathan Walker had three points (2g, 1a).
- The AHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM HARTFORD