The Hershey Bears beat the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5-4 Sunday evening in Hershey. The win raises the Bears record to 17-20-0-2 on the season. The Bears are back in action Wednesday when they visit the Devils in Binghamton. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM.
A wild start to this one, with three goals on the first six shots of the game. The Bears struck quickly at the start of the game, getting goals from Nathan Walker and Liam O’Brien in the first 1:19 of the game. The Phantoms would answer with a tally at 3:39 making it 2-1. The Bears would answer back with a goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 6:36, making it 3-1. The Phantoms would answer at 14:13 making it 3-2 at the first intermission. The Phantoms would tie the game 3-3 early in the second period, but the Bears would answer with a goal from Connor Hobbs later in the period for a 4-3 lead at the second intermission. Brian Pinho would get in on the action, adding a tally early in the final frame for a 5-3 Bears lead. The Phantoms would close the gap with a goal with 1:26 remaining in the game, making it 5-4, and that would be the final.
Vitek Vanecek (8-8-2-1, 2.80 GAA, .903 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Branden Komm (0-1-0, 3.15 GAA, .893 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Phantoms. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears were the same as last night in Allentown:
O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich– Megna – Pinho
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Kammerer– Gustafsson – Ikonen
Ness – Lewington
Leach – Sproul
Geisser – Hobbs
Scratches: Colby Williams (upper body), Lucas Johansen (upper body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) were the injury scratches. Mason Mitchell, and Steve Whitney were the healthy scratches.
The Bears wasted no take in denting the scoreboard, as Nathan Walker deflected a shot from the point for a 1-0 lead 44 seconds into the contest. The shot was the Bears first shot of the game. Joey Leach (1) and Ryan Sproul (10) got the helpers.
The Bears would quickly make it 2-0 on their second shot of the game when Liam O’Brien scored on a deflection of a shot from an extremely sharp angle by Riley Barber at 1:19 of the first. This was the Bears second shot of the game. Riley Barber (17) and Tyler Lewington (5) were credited with the assists.
The Phantoms would answer with a goal from Taylor Leier at 3:39 of the opening frame, making it 2-1. Vanecek would leave a juicy rebound for Leier to easily finish.
The Bears would get it right back with a nice push in the offensive zone by Shane Gersich. He would dish to Riley Barber who found Mike Sgarbossoa who would finish for the Bears third goal at 6:36 of the first period, making it 3-1. The goal chased Branden Komm, who was replaced by Alex Lyons in goal for the Phantoms.
Taylor Leier would cut the Bears lead to one with his second goal of the period at 14:13 of the first period, making it 3-2.
The first period would end with the Bears leading 3-2. Lehigh Valley outshot Hershey 12-9 for the first 20 minutes. The Phantoms were 1 for 3 and the Bears 0 for 2 on the power play in the first period.
The Phantoms would tie the game with a goal from Connor Bunnaman at 3:48 of the middle frame.
The Bears would retake the lead with a goal from Connor Hobbs at 14:29. The goal was setup by a nice cross-ice feed from Juuso Ikonen. Ikonen (8) and Max Kammerer (8) were credited with the assists.
The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 4-3. The Bears outshot the Phantoms 8-7 for the second period.
The Bears would stretch the lead to 5-3 with a goal from Brian Pinho at 1:53 of the final frame. Connor Hobbs (13) would be credited with the only assist.
The Phantoms would add a late goal in 6-on-5 play to close the gap to 5-4 with 1:25 left in the game. That would be the final.
- The Phantoms outshot the Bears 27-24.
- Lehigh Valley was 1 for 4 and Hershey was 0 for 3 on the power play.
- Connor Hobbs had a goal and an assist.
- Riley Barber had two assists.
- Brian Pinho had the game-winning goal, the first of his AHL career.
- Attendance: 8,986
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM CHOCOLATE TOWN