The Hershey Bears beat the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-3 Sunday evening in Allentown. The win improves the Bears record to 29-20-0-3 (61 points) on the season, and lifts the Bears into 4th place in the Atlantic Division. The win is also the Bears ninth straight victory and gives them points in 15 consecutive games, tying a 76 year-old franchise record set during the 1942-1943 season. The Bears return to the ice on Friday when they visit the Penguins in Wilkes-barre/Scranton. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM.
The Phantoms would notch the game’s first tally at 7:38 of the opening frame, but Beck Malenstyn would add a pair of goals to give the Bears a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. Mike Sgarbossa would notch a power play tally and Ryan Sproul would find the back of the net midway through the middle frame, to make it 4-1 at the second intermission. The Phantoms would add a goal early in the final frame, and added a power play goal to make it 4-3 with 5:23 left in the game, but that would be the final.
Vitek Vanecek (13-8-2-1, 2.73 GAA, .905 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Brian Elliott (1-0-0-0, 2.87 GAA, .923 sv%) got the start in goal for the Phantoms. 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
Johansen – Siegenthaler
Sproul – Hobbs
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.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) February 17, 2019
The Phantoms would strike first with a goal from Tyrell Goulbourne at 7:38 of the first period. Vanecek made the initial stop, but Goulbourne was able to clean-up the loose change.
The Bears would tie it with a sweet deflected goal from Beck Malenstyn at 13:52 of the first period. Ryan Sproul (12) and Connor Hobbs (15) were credited with the helpers.
The Bears struck again with another goal from Beck Malenstyn at 16:48 of the first period, making it 2-1. It was Malenstyn’s second goal of the game, giving him his first AHL multi-goal game. Garrett Pilon (17) and Ryan Sproul (13) had the assists.
The first period would end with the Bears leading 2-1. Shots on goal were tied 7-7.
The Bears would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a power play goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 6:28 of the middle frame. The goal was Sgarbossa’s 23rd of the season. Riley Barber (23) and Aaron Ness (35) were credited with the helpers.
The Bears would make it 4-1 with a goal from Ryan Sproul at 8:20 of the second period. The goal was Sprou’s 7th of the season. Sproul’s shot was a soft one from the left point, that was lost by Brian Elliott. Jayson Megna (13) and Brian Pinho (6) had the assists.
The second period would expire with the Bears leading 4-1. The Bears outshot the Phantoms 9-7 for the second period, and led 16-14 after 40 minutes of play. The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Phantoms 0 for 3 on the power play after two periods.
The Phantoms would quickly close the gap to two goals with a goal from Nicolas Aube-Kubel at 2:07 of the final frame, making it 4-2.
The Phantoms continued to tilt the ice in their favor, and led in shots on goal 7-0 with ten minutes remaining in the final frame.
The Phantoms added a power play goal from Mikhail Vorobyev with 5:23 left in the game, making it 4-3.
The Bears would hold on for the 4-3 win. The Bears were outshot 13-2 in the final period.
- Stars of the game: 1) Beck Malenstyn, 2) Ryan Sproul and 3) Nicolas Aube-Kubel
- The last time the Bears had points in 15-straight games was in 1942-1943 season.
- Bears ninth consecutive win and 15-straight game with points.
- Bears 5th straight one-goal victory.
- The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Phantoms 1 for 4 on the power play.
- The victory moves the Bears into 4th place in the Atlantic Division.
- The Phantoms led in shots 27-18 for the game.
- Attendance: 8,777
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM ALLENTOWN