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4 months ago
Bears Continue To Scuffle

BY DON SCOTT

On Friday, Hershey played its first of six straight road games, against the Providence Bruins, who entered the contest with six straight losses (0-3-0-3), including three-straight one-goal decisions. But Providence returned to the win column with a 2-0 win over the Bears.

The following day, Hartford won a 4-3 shootout decision, after the Bears had rallied from a 3-0 deficit.

On Friday, Providence goaltender Troy Grosenick blanked the Bears for the second time this season, stopping all 28 Hershey shots he faced.  

The game was scoreless through 40 minutes with Hershey outshooting Providence 21-9 through the first two periods. 

In the third period, the Bruins finally broke the deadlock, at 6:26. During a scramble in front of goaltender Zach Fucale, the puck popped loose to Providence’s Tyler Lewington. The former Bear fired a shot into the net, just as Fucale was run into by a Bruins player.

Despite Fucale’s protest, the goal was allowed to stand, and Lewington’s second goal of the season turned out to be the game-winner. 

The Bears pulled Fucale late for an extra skater and Matt Filipe hit the empty net to seal the 2-0 win.

Shots finished 28-18 in favor of Hershey. Neither team connected on the power play, with Hershey going 0-for-3 and Providence going 0-for-5

Bears Notes:

The contest represented Hershey’s final game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this season. Hershey is just 1-4-0-0 versus the Bruins this season. It was the third time in five meetings this season that the Bruins shut out the Bears.

On Saturday, Hershey rallied from a 3-0 deficit, but the Hartford Wolf Pack earned a 4-3 shootout win. The Bears did get a standings point in the loss, but the club’s record fell to 30-24-5-4 overall.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-0 lead in the opening period on a Nick Merkley power play strike at 12:54 and Cristiano DiGiacinto’s goal at 14:28.

In the second period, Hartford goaltender Keith Kincaid stopped Mason Morelli’s penalty shot at 6:40, then Anthony Greco added to the Wolf Pack lead, connecting on the power play at 9:36. He was alone in the slot and fired a wrist shot over the glove of Pheonix Copley for his 15th goal of the season. 

The Bears started their comeback with a pair of goals before the period ended, during which they out shot Hartford 21-4. On a four-minute power play, Garrett Pilon connected for his team-leading sixth power-play goal of the year, on the rebound of a Bobby Nardella shot at 14:40. Aliaksei Protas had the initial assist. 

Taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play, Hershey scored again at 16:26. Morelli shoved the puck past Kincaid’s left pad at the post to make it 3-2. The goal was Morelli’s eighth of the season, with Alex Alexeyev and Lucas Johansen getting the assists. 

At 8:57 in the third period, Mike Vecchione tied the game for Hershey, beating a fallen Kincaid for his 13th goal of the season, with Brett Leason and Protas picking up the helpers. 

In the overtime, Hershey had several great chances but could not score. Kincaid stopped Pilon on a breakaway and then caught the chip shot on the rebound to keep it 3-3. The veteran goaltender stopped 41 shots on the night and denied all three Hershey players in the shootout. 

The only goal of the shootout came from Hartford’s Ty Ronning in the third round, and Kincaid stopped Hershey’s Lucas Johansen for the win.

Shots finished 44-23 in favor of Hershey. The Bears went 2-for-5 on the power play while Hartford was 2-for-3. 

Bears Notes:

Hershey finished 1-3-0-2 versus the Wolf Pack this season.

Copley has played 157 games, to tie Dave Parro for 8th place on the franchise’s all-time list. Hershey will become the fifth team in professional hockey to record 3,000 wins, as the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens (3,490), Boston Bruins (3,281), Toronto Maple Leafs (3,040), and Detroit Red Wings (3,015) are the only other clubs to accomplish the feat.

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