The Hershey Bears downed the Springfield Thunderbirds, 5-2 Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. The victory improves the Bears record to 32-27-5-4 (73 points) on the season.
The Thunderbirds opened the scoring midway through the first frame but the Bears answered with goals from Dylan McIlrath and Aliaksei Protas for a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
The Bears extended their lead to 3-1 on Shane Gersich’s 13th goal of the season, but the Thunderbirds were able to answer late in the period for a 3-2 Bears lead at the second break.
The Bears stretched their lead to 4-2 on Mike Vecchione’s 15th goal of the season early in the final frame and Cody Franson would add a 5-on-3 power play goal late for the 5-2 final.
The Bears started goaltender Pheonix Copley (16-9-5-2, 2.38 GAA, .913 sv %) in net while the Thunderbirds countered with Charlie Lindgren (21-4-1-1, 2.26 GAA, .923 sv%). The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Injuries: Brian Pinho (shoulder surgery), Matt Moulson (back surgery), Mike Sgarbossa (upper-body injury), Riley Sutter (upper-body injury).
Scratches: Jake Massie, Macoy Erkamps, Christopher Brown and Clay Stevenson.