Bears Beat Phantoms 5-3; Liam O’Brien, Christian Djoos, Bobby Nardella, Beck Malenstyn and Brian Pinho Score

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

The Hershey Bears beat the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5-3 Sunday evening at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Bears struck first with a goal from Liam O’Brien for a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. Christian Djoos would stretch the Bears lead to 2-0 with a power play goal early in the middle frame. The Phantoms would get on the scoreboard midway through the second period, and add a goal with less than two minutes to play in the frame for a 2-2 score at the second intermission. The Bears would regain the lead midway through the final frame with a goal from Bobby Nardella, and add a goal from Beck Malenstyn to make it 4-2. The Phantoms would answer with a 6-on-5 goal late to make it 4-3, but Brian Pinho would respond with an empty net goal for the 5-3 final. The win improves the Bears record to 32-16-3-3 (70 points) on the season.

Pheonix Copley (16-6-5-2, 2.36 GAA, .909 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. J.F. Berube (11-10-4-3, 2.47 GAA, .9090 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Phantoms. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: 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. Joe Snively, Kody Clark, Eric Burgdoerfer (pending hearing), Colby Williams were the healthy scratches.

Martin Fehervary was reassigned to the Bears on Tuesday. As a result, Eddy Whittchow was re-assigned to South Carolina.

The Bears struck first for the sixth consecutive game. This time Liam O’Brien had the honors, potting the game’s first tally at 5:35 of the first period. Garrett Pilon (17) had the lone helper.

That would be all of the scoring in the first frame. The Phantoms led in shots 8-7 for the first period. Lehigh Valley was 0 for 2 and the Bears 0 for 3 on the power play in the first frame.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal from Christian Djoos at 1:26 of the middle frame. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (9) and Brett Leason (9) had the helpers.

The Phantoms would finally get on the scoreboard with a goal from Morgan Frost (10) at 8:11 of the middle frame. The dump-in pass took an unfortunate bounce off of the glass, right in front of Copley for the goal.

The Phantoms would tie the game late in the period with a goal from Maksim Sushko at 18:21 of the period.

The second period would conclude with the game tied 2-2. The Phantoms outshot the Bears 12-3 in the middle frame, and led 20-10 after two periods. Lehigh Valley was 0 for 4 and Hershey 1 for 4 on the power play after two periods.

The Bears would regain the lead with a goal from Bobby Nardella (3) at 8:50 of the final frame. Brett Leason (10) and Garrett Pilon (18) has the assists.

The Bears would make it 4-2 with a goal from Beck Malenstyn (7) at 16:03 of the final frame. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (10) and Bobby Nardella (22) had the assists.

The Phantoms would close the gap to 4-3 with a 6-on5 goal at 18:14 of the final frame.

The Bears would seal it with an empty net goal from Brian Pinho.

The final was 5-3.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,437
  • The Bears are 8-1-1-0 against Lehgih Valley this season.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Bobby Nardella, 2) Brett Leason and 3) Axel Jonsson-Fjallby
  • Lehigh Valley led in shots 29-20.
  • Lehigh Valley was 0 for 4 and Hershey 1 for 4 on the power play.
  • Bears have power play goals in six straight games.
  • Pheonix Copley stopped 26 of 29 shots faced.
  • The Bears scored the game’s first goal for the sixth straight game.
  • Brett Leason had three assists.
  • Bobby Nardella had a goal and an assist.
  • Beck Malenstyne had a goal and an assist.
  • Axel Jonsson-Fjallby had two assists.
  • Garrett Pilon had two assists.


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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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