Bears Cage Sound Tigers 5-2; Bears Penalty Kill Is A Perfect 6 For 6, Brian Pinho Scores 4th Of The Season

Photo: Caroline O’Connor/Great Save Productions/Hershey Bears

The Hershey Bears beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2 Saturday evening at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Bears would get goals from Brian Pinho, Mike Sgarbossa and Philippe Maillet in the first period for a 3-1 lead at the first intermission. The Sound Tigers would close the gap to a single goal early in the middle frame, but the Bears would respond with scores from Matt Moulson and Liam O’Brien to make it 5-2 at the second intermission. The Bears would kill two Bridgeport 5-on-3 power plays in the final frame for the 5-2 final. The win is the Bears’ 5th straight, improving their record to 13-9-2-3 (29 points) on the season.

Vitek Vanecek (6-4-1-1, 2.43 GAA, .904 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Jakub Skarek (2-4-0-0, 3.58 GAA, .883 sv%) started in goal for the visiting Sound Tigers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Lucas Johansen (lower body injury, day-to-day), Shane Gersich (lower body injury, day-to-day), Steve Whitney (upper body injury), Eric Burgdoerfer (upper body injury) and Colby Williams (lower body injury, week-to-week) were the injury scratches. Connor Hobbs and Riley Sutter were the healthy scratches.

The American Hockey League announced on Sunday suspended Beck Malenstyn three (3) games as a consequence of an elbowing incident in a game at Lehigh Valley on Dec. 6. (More here). This game was the second game of his suspension.

Tobias Geisser was re-assigned to EV Zug in the Swiss league on Thursday. (More here).

The Bears would grab the game’s first lead less than two minutes into the contest on a nice redirect from Brian Pinho (4) at 1:49 of the first period. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (3) made the nice centering pass to Pinho for the score.

The Sound Tigers would tie the game with a score from Kieffer Bellows (7) at 7:48 of the opening frame. It was Bellow’s sixth goal in the last eight games.

The Bears would retake the lead with a score from Mike Sgarbossa (10) at 11:44 of the first period. The pass/shot would be unintentionally redirected five-hole by a Sound Tiger’s player. Joe Snively (4) would be credited with the lone assist.

The Bears would make it 3-1 with a goal from Philippe Maillet at 12:38 of the first period. Alex Alexeyev would dish the puck to Liam O’Brian from behind the goal, with O’Brien making a nice centering pass to Maillet for the finish. Liam O’Brien (7) and Alex Alexeyev (11) had the helpers.

The first period would conclude with the Bears leading 3-1. Hershey led in shots on goal 10-5 for the first frame. The Bears were 0 for 1 on the power play in the first period. Bridgeport did not have a man advantage in the first 20 minutes.

The Sound Tigers would quickly close the gap to one with a goal from Andrew Ladd (5) at 1:26 of the middle frame.

The Bears would go to their second power play of the game at 5:27 of the middle frame, and they would capitalize. Matt Moulson (8) would knock home a rebound at 5:59 of the second period, making it 4-2. Mike Sgarbossa (15) and Bobby Nardella (5) had the assists.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 5-2 with a goal from Liam O’Brien (6) at 6:13 of the second period. Brian Pinho made a nice centering pass to setup O’Brien. Pinho (7) and Brett Leason (5) had the helpers.

The second period would end with the Bears leading 5-2. Bridgeport led in shots 12-5 for the second period, and 17-15 after two periods. The Bears were 1 for 2 and the Sound Tigers 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods.

The Sound Tigers would be the benefactors of a 5-on-3 power play early in the final frame, but the Bears would kill both penalties, keeping the score at 5-2. Alex Alexeyev would block three consecutive shots. After the game, Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery would say that Alexeyev’s effort on the 5-on-3 penalty kill was one of the best he’s seen in the last 10 years.

The Sound Tigers would return to the power play with nine minutes remaining in the final frame, and would also get an additional penalty for another 5-on-3 for 30 seconds at 7:30 of the final frame, but the Bears were once again able to kill both penalties.

The Sound Tigers would return to the power play at 4:55, but the Bears penalty kill would once again squash the Sound Tigers man-advantage opportunity.

The Bears would hold on for the 5-2 win.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for just after 5:00 PM.


  • Attendance: 6,754
  • The AHL box score is here.
  • The Bears win their fifth straight game.
  • Bridgeport led in shots 26-18 for the game.
  • Christian Djoos and Philippe Maillet led the Bears in shots with 3 each.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Brian Pinho, 2) Liam O’Brien and 3) Alex Alexeyev
  • Brian Pinho, Mike Sgarbossa and Liam O’Brien each had a goal and an assist.
  • This was Pinho’s 100th AHL game.
  • Bridgeport was 0 for 6 and the Bears 1 for 2 on the power play.
  • The Bears penalty kill has killed 26 straight opposition power plays.
  • The Bears have scored power play goals in three consecutive games, since the return of Bobby Nardella.

By Jon Sorensen


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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3 Responses to Bears Cage Sound Tigers 5-2; Bears Penalty Kill Is A Perfect 6 For 6, Brian Pinho Scores 4th Of The Season

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Alexeyev! Fehervary! A future First-pairing on the Caps’ Blueline

    Great reporting, Jon! These Bears are pretty good. They need to stack up some wins and dominate the playoffs

  2. Pingback: Connor McMichael Advances With Team Canada; Aliaksei Protas Shines In Junior Qualifying, Vitek Vanecek Continues To Heat Up: Week 13 Capitals Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: Connor McMichael Advances With Team Canada, Aliaksei Protas Shines In Junior Qualifying, Vitek Vanecek Continues To Heat Up: Week 13 Capitals Prospect Report | NoVa Caps

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