Bears Beat Thunderbirds 2-1 In Overtime, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Scores Game Winner

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

The Hershey Bears beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 2-1 (OT) Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. The win is the Bears seventh-straight victory, and improves their record to 15-9-2-3 (35 points) on the season. With the win the Bears move into sole position of third place in the Atlantic Division, six points behind both Hartford and Providence.

After a scoreless first frame, the Bears would strike first with a re-directed goal by Matt Moulson midway through the middle frame. The Thunderbirds would answer with a power play goal late in the second period for a 1-1 tie at the second intermission. The game would remain tied throughout the remainder of regulation. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby would win it in overtime for the Bears.

Vitek Vanecek (8-4-1-1, 2.30 GAA, .911 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Samuael Montembeault (2-3-0-0, 3.82 GAA, .891 GAA) got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds. 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), Beck Malenstyn (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 Bears and Thunderbirds would skate to a scoreless first frame. The Bears led in shots 13-6 for the first 20 minutes. The Bears were 0 for 1 on the power play. The Thunderbirds did not have a power play in the first frame.

The Bears best opportunity came late in the frame after a turnover in the Thunderbirds zone. Brett Leason was this close to giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Capitals prospect Alex Alexeyev would go down early in the middle frame. It appeared he clipped legs with teammate Mike Sgarbossa. He would make it off the ice under his own power, and miss just one shift in the game.

The Bears would finally break the seal on the scoring with a redirect of a Martin Fehervary shot by Matt Moulson (9) at 13:28 of the middle frame. Martin Fehervary (8) and Liam O’Brien (8) had the helpers.

Moments after the Bears score, Christian Djoos would be checked into the corner boards and injured.

The Thunderbirds would tie the game late in the second period with a power play goal from Henrik Borgstrom (8) at 18:35 of the middle frame.

Vitek Vanecek continued his strong play. Earlier in the second period, after a turnover by Alex Alexeyev in the offensive zone, the Thunderbirds had a clean breakaway, but Vanecek stoned the shot.

The second period would end with the game tied 1-1. Hershey led in shots on goal 14-9 for the second period, and led 27-15 after two periods of play. Springfield was 1 for 1 and Hershey 0 for 2 on the power play after two periods.

The Bears and Thunderbirds would skate to a scoreless final frame. Springfield led in shots on goal 13-8 for the third period, with Hershey leading 35-28 in regulation.

The Bears would win it OT. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby would pot the game-winner, for the Bears seventh-straight victory.

The Bears are back on the ice on Sunday when they close-out their two-game set with the Thunderbirds. Puck drop is set for 1:00 PM.

By Jon Sorensen


  • Attendance: 7,358
  • The AHL box score is here.
  • Stars of the game: 1)Axel  Jonsson-Fjallby, 2) Vitek Vanecek and 3) S. Montembault
  • Bears led in shots 39-28.
  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 of 28 for a .964 game save percentage.
  • Springfield was 1 for 3 and the Bears 0 for 2 on the power play.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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1 Response to Bears Beat Thunderbirds 2-1 In Overtime, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Scores Game Winner

  1. Pingback: Connor McMichael Prepares For World Juniors, Vitek Vanecek Continues Strong Play: Week 14 Prospect Recap | NoVa Caps

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