The Springfield Thunderbirds Stomp Hershey Bears 6-2

The Hershey Bears fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds 6-2 Friday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The loss drops the Bears record to 15-20-0-2 on the season. The Bears are back on the ice on Saturday night when they visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM ET. 

After the Bears started the scoring with a power play goal from Mike Sgarbossa, the Thunderbirds answered with three unanswered goals for a 3-1 lead at the first intermission. The Thunderbirds would add a fourth goal early in the middle frame to make it 4-1, and chase Vitek Vanecek. The Thunderbirds would add one more in the middle frame for a 5-1 lead at the second intermission. The Bears would get one back early in the final frame, but the Thunderbirds would add a late goal for the 6-2 win.

Vitek Vanecek (8-7-2-1, 2.64 GAA, .908 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Samuel Montembeault (11-7-5-1, 3.02 GAA, .901 sv%) got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich– Megna – Pinho
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Whitney– Gustafsson – Ikonen

Ness – Lewington
Leach – Sproul
Geisser – Hobbs

Connor Hobbs returned to the lineup for the first time since December 15 in Providence. Tobias Geisser made his first start since returning from the World Juniors tournament.

Scratches: Colby Williams (upper body), Lucas Johansen (upper body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) were the injury scratches. Steve Johnson, Cliff Watson, Mason Mitchell, and Max Kammerer were healthy scratches.

The Bears struck first with a power play goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 3:30 of the opening frame. Riley Barber (16) was credited with the lone assist. The goal was Sgarbossa’s 16th of the season.

The Thunderbirds would answer with a goal from Riley Stillman at 9:15 of the opening frame. Vanecek made a nice initial save but the Bears could not secure the rebound, which was gathered by Stillman and punched home for the 1-1 tie.

The Thunderbirds would grab their first lead of the game with a goal from Anthony Greco at 11:23 of the first period.

The Thunderbirds would add a third-straight goal when Matt Marcinew scored an unassisted tally at 17:32, making it 3-1.

The opening frame would conclude with the Thunderbirds leading 3-1. The Thunderbirds outshot the Bears 12-7 for the first frame. The Bears were 1 for 2 and the Thunderbirds 1 for 3 on the power play.

The Thunderbirds would add another power play goal early in the middle frame by Sebastian Repo at 4:49 of the middle frame. Following the goal, Bears coach Spencer Carbery would pull starter Vitek Vanecek and replace him Ilya Samsonov.

The Thunderbirds would score a fifth unanswered goal from Matt Mangene at 14:13, making it 5-1.

The second period would conclude with the Bears trailing 5-1. The Bears outshot the Thunderbirds 12-9 for the middle frame.

The Bears would get one back early in the final frame with a goal from Juuso Ikonen at 2:28 of the third period. Garrett Pilon (13) and Ryan Sproul (9) were credited with the assists.

The Thunderbirds would add a late goal from Harry Zolnierczyk at 16:10 for the 6-2 final.



  • The AHL box score is here.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to The Springfield Thunderbirds Stomp Hershey Bears 6-2

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pilon is 18
    Malenstyn is 13

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