The Hershey Bears beat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 Sunday evening at Giant Center in Hershey. The win improves the Bears record to 26-20-0-3 (55 points) on the season. The win is the Bears sixth-straight and gives the Bears a sweep of the weekend set with the Checkers, the AHL’s best team. The win also gives the bears points in 12-straight games. The Bears are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
The Bears would start the scoring with a goal from Jayson Megna to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Checkers would tie the game in the middle frame, but the Bears would retake the lead late in the second period with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Riley Barber, making it 2-1 Bears at the second intermission. The final frame would go scoreless.
Ilya Samsonov (11-11-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .885 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Alex Nedeljkovic (22-5-4, 2.55 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start for the visiting Checkers. 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
Siegenthaler – Sproul
Johansen – Hobbs
Christian Djoos was re-assigned to Washington on Friday, following his two-game conditioning stint in Hershey. To make room on the Capitals roster for Djoos, Jonas Siegenthaler was re-assigned to Hershey on Friday.
Scratches: Colby Williams (lower body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury – long-term) were the injury scratches. Tobias Geisser, Max Kammerer and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches.
The Bears would strike first with a goal from Jayson Megna at 16:01 of the opening frame. This was Megna’s 10th goal of the season. The play was initially setup by a chip and chase by Shane Gersich, which opened the slot for a clean shot by Megna. Brain Pinho (5) and Shane Gersich (11) were credited with the helpers.
The first period would end with the Bears leading 1-0. The Checkers led in shots on goal (SOG) 12-10. The Checkers were 0 for 1 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play in the first period.
The Bears would be called for a quick penalty at the start of the middle frame, giving the Checkers a 5-on-3 for 1:38 of the second period, but the Bears would kill the Checkers man advantage.
However, the Checkers would eventually tie the game in with a 5-on-5 goal from Nicolas Roy at 10:09 of the middle frame. Roy would enter the crease from the right wing unguarded, and deflect a centering pass for the Checkers lone goal of the evening.
The Bears had what looked to be a go-ahead power play goal by Jayson Megna but it was disallowed due to a high stick.
However, immediately following the disallowed goal, the Checkers were called for another penalty, giving the Bears a 5-on-3 for 1:00 of the middle frame. The Bears would capitalize with a blast from Riley Barber at 18:29 of the second period. Mike Sgarbossa (20) and Aaron Ness (30) were credited with the helpers.
The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 2-1. The Checkers outshot the Bears 8-6 in the middle frame, and led 20-16 after 40 minutes of play. The Checkers were 0 for 4 and the Bears 1 for 5 on the power play after two periods.
The Bears and Checkers would skate to a scoreless final frame.
- Stars: 1) Ilya Samsonov, 2) Riley Barber and 3) Jayson Megna
- Charlotte outshot Hershey 30-21
- Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 of 30 shots faced for a .967 save percentage.
- Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 4.
- The Checkers were 0 for 5 and the Bears 1 for 5 on the power play.
- Final regular season meeting between Bears and Checkers.
- Attendance: 8,722
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM HERSHEY