The Hershey Bears rallied with four goals in the final frame to beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-1 Wednesday night at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The win improves the Bears record to 32-21-0-3 (67 points) on the season. The Bears return to action Friday night when they visit the Comets in Utica. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
After a scoreless first period, the Wolf Pack would open the scoring with a power play goal midway through the second period for the 1-0 lead at the second intermission. The Bears would rally with goals from Riley Barber, Jonas Siegenthaler, Riley Barber again and an empty net goal from Nathan Walker in the final frame for the 4-1 final.
Ilya Samsonov (14-11-1-2, 2.84 GAA, .892 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Bears. Brandon Halverson (3-2-3-0, 3.11 GAA, .896 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Wolf Pack. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Gersich – Sgarbossa – Barber
O’Brien– Megna – Smith-Pelly
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Whitney – Pinho – Ikonen
Ness – Lewington
Johansen – Sproul
Siegenthaler – Hobbs
Scratches: Colby Williams (lower body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury – long-term) were the injury scratches. Tobias Geisser, Hampus Gustufsson, Max Kammerer and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches.
The Bears got off to a slow start in this one, registering no shots in the first 12 minutes of play. Ilya Samsonov was tested early in goal, but was solid in keeping the game scoreless. Below, Connor Hobbs turns the puck over in the offensive zone, yielding a clean breakaway for the Wolf Pack, but Samsonov shut it down.
Hartford was awarded the game’s first power play when Riley Barber was called for tripping at 11:09 of the opening frame, but the Bears penalty kill squashed the Wolf Pack’s man-advantage. Devante Smith-Pelly played on the Bears second penalty-kill unit.
The Bears would get their first power play with 3:53 left in the first period, but the Bears would also come-up empty. Shots on goal were 11-4 with two minutes left in the opening frame.
The first period would expire with the game remaining scoreless. Hartford outshot the Bears 12-4 in the first 20 minutes. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play.
The Bears emerged from their first period hibernation five minutes into the middle frame. However, it would be the Wolf Pack that would pot the game’s first tally. Gabriel Fontaine would get behind the Bears defense and finish with a nice backhander for a power play goal at 10:08 of the second period.
Tyler Lewington would make quick work of Matt Belesky at 13:40 of the middle frame.
The Bears would head to their second power play of the game with five minutes remaining in the middle period, but were unable to convert.
The second period would end with the Wolf Pack leading 1-0. The Bears outshot the wolf Pack 10-7 in the second period, and trailed 19-14 after two periods of play. The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Wolf Pack 1 for 2 on the power play after two periods.
The Bears would go to the power play midway through the final frame, but the Bears would once again come up empty. The Bears returned to the power play at 12:31 of the final frame, and this time they would dent the twine. Riley Barber would tie the game at 12:55. Nathan Walker (11) and Mike Sgarbossa (24) were credited with the helpers.
24 seconds later Jonas Siegenthaler would land one from long distance, giving the Bears a 2-1 lead.
Riley Barber would notch his second tally of the game and of the period at 17:59 of the final frame.
Nathan Walker would add an empty net goal for the 4-1 final.
- Stars of the game: 1) Riley Barber, 2) Jonas Siegenthaler and 3) Ilya Samsonov
- Hartford outshot the Bears 29-24.
- Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 7.
- The Bears were 1 for 4 and the Wolf Pack 1 for 2 on the power play.
- Ilya Samsonov stopped 28 of 29 shots for a .966 game save percentage.
- Attendance: 1,563
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM HARTFORD