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 26398513179_1656ae6fd4_zBY JULIE BEIDLER

HERSHEY –  After going the distance and then some in a 7-6 shootout loss in Rochester Friday night, the Bears returned to Giant Center Saturday for a match-up with the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies, looking to keep up the momentum they’d been building. But the Marlies, who were off last night, had other ideas and earned a 4-1 victory at Giant Center.

 Things went from bad to worse early on for the Bears, who were on the wrong side of a 2-0 deficit when Connor Hobbs, Garrett Mitchell, and Colby Williams all went down the tunnel in the first period. Mitchell was the first to return and put Hershey within a goal when he scored with 49 seconds to go in the first period, as he was falling down.

 Williams returned for the start of the second period, but a third blue-liner, Tyler Lewington, made his way down the tunnel in some obvious discomfort. He would later return as well, but Hershey head coach Troy Mann told the media in the post-game press conference that he was told Hobbs was sent for x-rays on an upper body injury.

Meanwhile, the Bears battled through a scoreless second period only to see Toronto add two more goals in the third for the 4-1 victory.

37464673744_eb4951435e_zHershey heads to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a 3:05 start Sunday against the Atlantic Division leaders.

On the night, Hershey’s power play, which has been hot of late, went 0-for-6. The Bears penalty kill went 6-for-7.

 Adam Carlson took the loss in net for the Bears, stopping 31 of 35 shots.

What we’ve learned – The Bears blueline took some serious knocks Saturday night. Hershey was down one, sometimes two defensemen for most of the game. Paul Geiger was a healthy scratch Saturday, so the Bears will be able to dress six tomorrow night regardless of the outcome of the Hobbs injury.

Who’s hot – Chris Bourque put forth a five-point effort Friday night in Rochester.

Quotable – “Well, I just told the guys they get an extra hour of sleep tonight. This whole weekend schedule-wise was tough for us,” said Mann. “Wilkes-Barre didn’t play tonight as well…not a great weekend for the Bears in terms of scheduling, but we’ll get our breaks, like I say, later on in the season.”

The road ahead – Hershey is in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow. They are in Springfield Wednesday before hosting Lehigh Valley Saturday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Sunday.

38143313992_a1af32ed0d_zThree Stars –

  1. Smith – Toronto

  2. Marchment – Toronto

  3. Garrett Mitchell – Hershey

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