Photo: Tori Hartman
The Hershey Bears fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 7-6 Friday night in Allentown. The Bears would explode for five goals on 12 shots in the first period to take a 5-1 lead into the first intermission. The Phantoms would return the favor in the middle frame, outscoring Hershey 4-1 to make it 6-5 Hershey at the second intermission. The Phantoms would tie the game 6-6 early in the third period and grab the lead late for a 7-6 win. The Bears are back in action Saturday night when they host the Utica Comets at Giant Center. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m.
Vitek Vanecek got the start between the pipes for Hershey. John Muse started in goal for Lehigh Valley. Both goalies would be chased in this one. Tim McGauley made his AHL debut for the Bears in this game. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Scratches: Mathias Bau, Adam Chapie, Mason Mitchell, Anthony Peluso and Tommy Hughes.
The Bears would strike first in this one when Dustin Gazley lit the lamp at 5:08 of the first period. Jeremy Langlois and Chris Bourque were credited with the helpers.
Lehigh Valley would tie things up at 9:12 of the opening frame with a power play goal from Chris Connor. This was Connor’s 200th goal in his professional career.
But the Bears would retake the lead three minutes later with a goal from Lucas Johansen at 12:21 of the first stanza. Aaron Ness and Tyler Graovac were credited with the assists.
The Bears would stretch their lead to 3-1 Just 24 seconds later with a goal from Jeremy Langlois at 12:45 of the first period. Dustin Gazley would be credited with the lone assist.
Moments later Nathan Walker would make it 4-1 at 14:01 of the first period. Riley Barber was credited with the primary helper. John Muse was chased from the game and replaced by Dustin Tokarski.
The outburst for the Bears would continue when Tyler Graovac made it 5-1 at 15:06 of the opening frame. Lucas Johansen and Nathan Walker provided the assists.
The period would conclude with the Bears leading 5-1. The Bears outshot the Phantoms 12-8 for the first period. Lucas Johansen was a +4 in the first 20 minutes. Johansen, Gazley, Walker, Langlois and Graovac each had a goal and an assist in the first 20 minutes of action.
After the Bears failed to convert on a 5-on-3 power play, Nicolas Aube-Kubel would cut the Bears lead to 5-2 with a tally early in the second period.
Just 1:35 later Lehigh Valley would make it 5-3 with a goal from Philippe Myers at 6:33 of the middle frame, and the comeback was underway.
The Bears would respond with a goal from Riley Barber at 8:02 of the middle frame. Joe Whitney was credited with the lone assist.
The Phantoms would climb back to within two goals when Cole Bardreau scored at 9:52 of the second period, making it 6-4.
The Phantoms would cut the lead to one with a goal from Danick Martel at 11:59 of the middle frame. Vitek Vanecek was replaced by Pheonix Copley.
The second period would expire with the Bears holding on to a one goal lead, 6-5. Lehigh Valley outshot Hershey 13-12 for the second period. The Bears led 24-22 through 40 minutes of play.
The Phantoms would tie it up with a goal from Mike Vecchione at 4:14 of the final frame.
With 6:59 left in the third period the Phantoms took the lead 7-6 thanks on a backhand tapped in by Nicolas Aube-Kubel. And that would be the final. Lehigh Valley outshot Hershey 11-6 for the final 20 minutes, and 32-30 for the game.
The Bears recap can be found here.
- The Bears were 0 for 4 on the man advantage. Lehigh Valley was 2 for 7.
- The AHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM ALLENTOWN
@PPLCenter is a great place to watch #hockey. Fantastic atmosphere despite #bombcyclone-depressed attendance. Action-packed game between @lehighvalleyphantoms and @thehersheybears . . . #thisishockey #hockeylife @theahl #minorleaguehockey #travel #traveling #travelphotography #shotoniphone #wanderlust #allentown