Hershey Bears Down Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2-0 In Preseason Finale

Photos: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Coming off a 3-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on September 28, on Monday night the Hershey Bears traveled to the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their third and final game of the 2019-20 preseason. The Bears received goals from Joe Snively and Casey Bailey and were backstopped by Vitek Vanecek in net for a decisive 2-0 win.

After narrowing down their roster earlier in the week, more players who are expected to be in the lineup during the regular season found their way into tonight’s lineup.

Vanecek got the start in net for the Chocolate and White.

First Period:

The first period got off to a bit of a slow start as the Bears were lacking in the shot department most of the way through the opening frame. The game got a little exciting in the period on a no-goal call for the Phantoms on a swatted puck into the net. After the no-goal call, the game started to flow a little better for the Chocolate and White. The Bears began to put shots on Lehigh Valley netminder Felix Sandstrom and solid overall play from multiple players created chances for Head Coach Spencer Carbery’s team. The Bears gave Lehigh Valley an opportunity to get ahead when veteran defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer was called for hooking at the 8:35 mark of the opening frame, however the Bears were able to thwart the Phantoms’ man-advantage. The Bears would get the coveted lead at the 14:53 mark of the first frame, on a goal by Joe Snively, with assists from defenseman Colby Williams and forward Garrett Pilon. The period would end with the Bears up 1-0 on the scoreboard and in shots 9-5.

2nd Period:

The Bears headed into the second period with a 1-0 lead, and looked to add to their lead. Hershey added to their lead at the 5:35 mark of the middle frame on a tap-in goal from Penn State product and professional tryout offer recipient Casey Bailey, on assists from Snively and Garrett Pilon. Following the goal, the Phantoms saw their fair share of scoring chances, but faced strong play from Vanacek in the Hershey cage. After extending their lead, the Bears kept the pressure coming on Lehigh Valley. Defenseman Connor Hobbs drew a slashing penalty, and despite some solid shots during the man-advantage, the Chocolate and White were unable to convert, and the subsequent power play was shortened after the Bears took a penalty themselves to negate the man-advantage. During the Phantoms’ third power play, the Bears had a number of shorthanded scoring chances, but failed to convert. The period would end with the Bears up 2-0 and the two teams tied 15-15 in the shot department.

3rd Period:

The final frame started with Lehigh Valley testing Vanecek early, with two prime scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the period. Bears forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who scored the overtime winner in the team’s overtime victory against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, drew a penalty at the 2:50 mark after stealing the puck from a Phantoms skater. Hershey’s second man-advantage would see both teams trade chances as Lehigh Valley created some shorthanded opportunities of their own. Both teams had ample opportunities to put the puck in the net throughout the period, but neither were able to solve the opposing goaltender. Despite pulling Sandstrom, the Phantoms would fail to get the biscuit past Vanecek, who stood strong in net to give the Bears a 2-0 victory.  Vanacek stopped all 27 shots he faced on the night, while both Snively and Pilon each picked up two points and Bailey impressed on the final game of his tryout offer.

By Zac Herr

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