Photo: Hershey Bears
On a night in which their NHL affiliate downed the New York Islanders 6-3, the Hershey Bears gave the Capitals organization a double victory over the New York Islanders’ with a 3-2 victory over the Isles’ AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers in what was a thrilling win.
The first period was about as uneventful as one could see in a professional hockey, with neither team able to put the puck past the opposing netminder and only one power play between the teams, as Hershey defenseman Colby Williams took a slashing penalty to put the Tigers on the man-advantage. The period ended with neither team able to score and a combined 15 shots (five for Bridgeport, 10 for the Bears).
The second frame was a much more entertaining period, with both Hershey and Bridgeport getting on the board. The Tigers would strike first on the power play on Casey Bailey’s 14th of the season at the 8:03 mark, with assists from Josh Ho-Sang and Steve Bernier; the power play came as a result of Williams again being called for slashing. The Bears would get on the board thanks to a goal from Hampus Gustafsson (his first of the season), with an assist coming from center Zach Sill. Just under a minute later, Ho-Sang would score his seventh goal of the season to give the Tigers the lead once again. Kellen Jones and Seth Helgeson were credited with the assists on the goal. With a minute left to play in the period, Parker Wotherspoon was called for interference, putting the Bears on the power play. The penalty would carry over into the final period, but the Bears would fail to convert. The period ended with the Tigers up 2-1 and in shots 19-18.
The Bears would tie the game just 3:26 into the final frame, as Liam O’Brien potted his 15th goal of the season to knot the game at 2-2, with assists coming from NHL returnee Madison Bowey and Wayne Simpson. The second half of the period would prove to be a rather eventful one, as Hershey forward Chris Bourque was called for slashing at the 15:35 mark to give the Tigers a chance to take the lead. Despite a few good looks, the Bears would manage to thwart Bridgeport’s special teams units to keep the game tied. Just moments later, Anthony Peluso scored on assists from Gustafsson and Lucas Johansen to give the Bears their first lead of the game at 3-2. The Bears would get a chance to increase their lead on a late power play, but Peluso’s goal would prove to be the game-winner, as the Bears capped a thrilling night with a 3-2 victory. The Bears put the Tigers on a total of five power plays, of which they killed all of them, while they themselves had three man-advantages themselves. Despite losing on the scoreboard, the Tigers led the Bears in shots 28-26.
The Bears’ victory against Bridgeport was their first win in three games, and until Gustafsson’s goal, had not scored a goal in 126:38 of game time.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) March 17, 2018
By Michael Fleetwood