Photo: JustSports Photography
On a night in which their NHL affiliate is playing in the great outdoors, the Hershey Bears enjoyed the comfort of the great indoors as they downed the Utica Comets 3-0 in Chocolate Town after a disastrous 7-6 loss in their last game.
The first period was a rather uneventful one for both teams. Despite two power plays for Utica and four for Hershey, the period ended without either club getting on the board, although the Bears and Comets combined for a total of 26 shots (16 for Hershey, 10 for Utica.
The second frame was much more action-packed than the first, with Bears defenseman Aaron Ness scoring his third goal of the season to give the Bears a relatively early second period lead at the 7:36 mark. Joe Whitney and Tyler Graovac were credited with the assists on Ness’ goal.
Just over seven minutes later, returned Olympian Chris Bourque scored his 13th of the season to give the Bears a commanding two-goal lead late in the period, with assists coming from Dustin Gazley and Colby Williams. The Comets would muster only nine more shots as they left the ice into the second intermission down on the scoreboard and in the shot department, 24-19. Utica had three power play opportunities to get back in the game, but were thwarted on all three man-advantages.
The third period would see the Bears add an insurance goal at the 14:07 mark on Zach Sill’s fifth of the season to solidify their lead, with assists coming from Anthony Peluso and Jeremy Langlois. The period also saw both teams get additional power play opportunities to add to their lead (in the Bears’ case) or get into the game. Utica had three more power play chances while Hershey were put on the man-advantage an astounding FIVE times. The final score would end up being 3-0, with the Bears having absolutely dominated the Comets in all aspects of the game, including the shot department by six, 30-24. Both teams had a combined 13 power play opportunities (six for the Comets, seven for the Bears). The shutout was Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley’s second of the season and his 12th win of the 2017-18 campaign.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) March 4, 2018
By Michael Fleetwood