Bears Beat Thunderbirds 5-2, Matt Moulson Scores Two Goals in 1,000th Professional Game

The Hershey Bears beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 Friday evening at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Thunderbirds opened the scoring with a tally just 2:03 into the contest. The Bears would answer midway through the first period with a goal from Shane Gersich, but Springfield would retake the lead late in the frame for a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. The Bears would respond in the middle frame with goals from Garrett Pilon, Brian Pinho and Matt Moulson to take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission. Matt Moulson would add an empty net goal late in the final frame for the 5-2 final. The win improves the Bears record to 26-14-2-3 (57 points) on the season. The Bears remain tied with the Hartford Wolf Pack for first place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford has two games in hand.

Pheonix Copley (11-6-4-1, 2.52 GAA, .903 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Sam Montembeault (4-4-1-1, 3.00 GAA, .916 sv%) got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Mike Sgarbossa (lower-body injury, day-to-day), Joe Snively (upper-body injury, week-to-week), Steve Whitney (upper body injury, week-to-week), Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs were the injury scratches. Matt Weis, Erik Burgdoerfer, Kale Kessy, Eddie Whitchow and were the healthy scratches.

The Thunderbirds struck first with a deflected goal by Aleksi Heponiemi (1) at 2:03 of the opening frame.

The Bears would tie the game with a goal from Shane Gersich (6) at 11:22 of the opening period. Tyler Lewington (7) and Phil Maillet (15) had the assists.

The Thunderbirds would retake the lead with a goal from Ethan Prow (5) at 16:37 of the first period.

The first period would end with Springfield leading 2-1. The Thunderbirds led in shots on goal 11-5 for the first frame. Springfield was 0 for 2 on the power play. The Bears did not have a man advantage.

The Bears would tie the game with a power play goal from Garrett Pilon (12) at 4:58 of the middle frame. Phil Maillet with the lone assist.

The Bears would take their first lead of the game with a shorthanded goal from Brian Pinho at 8:13 of the middle frame. It was Pinho’s second shorthanded goal of the season.

The Bears would be awarded a five-minute power play after Ryan Haggerty knocked Shane Gersich into the boards. Gersich would leave the game momentarily, but return shortly thereafter.

The Bears would capitalize with a power play goal from Matt Moulson at 14:01 of the second period. Phil Maillet (17) and Bobby Nardella (14) had the helpers.

The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 4-2. Hershey led in shots 18-13 for the middle frame, and 29-18 after two periods. Hershey was 2 for 3 and Springfield 0 for 4 on the power play after two periods.

After a mostly scoreless final frame, Matt Moulson would add an empty net goal at 17:50 to make it 5-2.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 6,263
  • Stars of the game: 1) Matt Moulson, 2) Matt Maillet and 3) Brian Pinto
  • Bears led in shots 4-27.
  • Phil Maillet led the Bears in shots with 6.
  • Pheonix Copley stopped 25 of 27 shots faced for a .926 game save percentage.
  • The Bears were 2 for 4 and the Thunderbirds 0 for 5 on the power play.
  • Matt Moulson played in his 1,000th career professional game.


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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