Bears Down Thunderbirds 5-2; Alex Alexeyev, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Score

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

The Hershey Bears beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. After a scoreless first frame, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby would pot the game’s first tally early in the middle frame and Phil Maillet would add a tally midway through the second period for a 2-0 Bears lead. The Thunderbirds would get on the scoreboard late in the middle frame for a 2-1 Bears lead at the second intermission. Christian Djoos would score a power play goal early in the final frame to make it 3-1. Alex Alexeyev would score his third goal of the season to make it 4-1, but the Thunderbirds would respond less than a minute later to make it 4-2. Phil Maillet would add a power play tally late for the 5-2 final. The win improves the Bears record to 30-15-2-3 (65 points) on the season, and gives them sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

Pheonix Copley (15-6-4-2, 2.31 GAA, .912 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Ryan Bednard (3-0-0-1, 1.80 GAA, .946 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Thunderbirds. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Tyler Lewington (illness), Mike Sgarbossa (lower-body injury, day-to-day), Steve Whitney (upper body injury, week-to-week), Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs (shoulder surgery last week, out indefinitely) were the injury scratches. Brett Leason, Tommy Hughes, Matt Weiss and Chris McCarthy  were the healthy scratches.

Martin Fehervary was recalled by the Capitals on Saturday morning. As a result, the Bears recalled Tommy Hughes from South Carolina.

The Bears and Sound Tigers skated to a scoreless draw in the first period. Hershey outshot Springfield 10-5 for the first period. The Thunderbirds were 0 for 1 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play after 20 minutes.

The Bears would grab the game’s first lead with a goal from Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (11) at 2:40 of the middle frame. Garrett Pilon (15) and Eddie Whittchow (4) had the helpers.

The Bears would make it 2-0 with a goal from Phil Maillet (11) at 9:23 of the middle frame. Joe Snively (8) and Christian Djoos (20) had the assists.

The Thunderbirds would answer with their first score of the game when Henrik Borgstrom rifled one from the left point at 15:32 of the second period.

The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 2-1. Springfield led in shots 9-8 for the second period, with the Bears leading 18-14 after two periods. Springfield was 0 for 3 and Hershey 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a power play goal from Christian Djoos (4) at 3:58 of the final frame. Bobby Nardella (18) and Phil Maillet (19) had the assists.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 4-1 with a goal from Alex Alexeyev (3) at 12:08 of the final frame. Christian Djoos (21) and Kody Clark (5) had the helpers.

The Thunderbirds would answer less than a minute later with a goal from Joel Lowry (7) at 12:43, making it 4-2.

Phil Maillet would score his second tally of the game, a power play marker at 16:34 to make it 5-2. Alex Alexeyev (15) and Garrett Pilon (16) had the assists.


  • Attendance: 10,195
  • AHL box score
  • Stars of the game: 1) Phil Maillet, 2) Christian Djoos and 3) Alex Alexeyev.
  • Phil Maillet had two goals and an assist.
  • Christian Djoos had a goal and two assists.
  • Alex Alexeyev had a goal and an assist.
  • Bears led in shots 31-24.
  • Pheonix Copley stopped 22 of 24 for a .916 game save percentage.
  • Phil Maillet and Matt Moulson led the Bears in shots with 6 each.
  • Springfield was 0 for 3 and the Bears 2 for 3 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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