The Hershey Bears started this weekend with an overtime loss in Springfield on Friday, then were shut out Saturday by the visiting Providence Bruins, before finishing the three-games-in-three day stretch with a comeback victory over Springfield at Giant Center on Sunday.
Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Springfield was the fifth consecutive game the Bears needed more than 60 minutes to determine a winner.
Kody Clark gave the Bears an early 1-0 lead, at 2:33 of the first period, when he slammed a rebound of Lucas Johansen’s shot past Springfield goaltender Charlie Lindgren.
Seconds after a Hershey penalty kill, Nathan Todd tied the contest with his third goal of the season for the home side, at 4:55.
The Bears had a pair of power play opportunities in the middle stanza to Springfield’s one, but the Thunderbirds’ Nolan Stevens converted at 15:36, when he shoved the puck past Hershey goalie Zach Fucale for a goal that needed to be confirmed by video review.
At 16:38 of the third period, Cody Franson extended his point streak to four-straight games to force overtime. His shot from the right point beat Lindgren. But in the three-on-three overtime session, Springfield’s Sam Anas scored the game-winner on a highlight-reel goal and rush up the ice.
Final shots on goal totaled 34-22 Hershey. The Bears special teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
On Saturday, Steven Fogarty, who was born in Chambersburg 67, miles south of Hershey, scored twice and added an assist in Providence’s 3-0 win over the Bearsm in front of 7,816 Giant Center fans.
After a scoreless first period, Fogarty scored the eventual game-winning goal for Providence. Moving to his right, he fired a shot underneath the cross-bar at 8:45 following a Hershey turnover.
“Both the goals were the result of fatigue and mistakes and that happens for many different reasons and you just have to play through it because there are certain times in a game where they can be momentum crushers or momentum builders and you have to make good decisions when you’re tired,” said Hershey head coach Scott Allen. “Right now, it has been very difficult for us to score, so we have to continue to build on the defensive side and get stronger on that aspect of the game.”
Hershey netiminder Pheonix Copley stopped two solo efforts by the Bruins to finish with 29 saves.
Fogarty added an insurance marker at 17:32 of the third period and assisted on an empty net goal by Chris Wagner. Final shots totaled 32-31 Providence.
In that contest, Hershey’s five-game point streak came to an end with the regulation loss.
In Sunday’s 5-3 victory, Hershey’s Joe Snively recorded his second-career hat-trick, in a fast moving battle that was decided with 3:09 remaining in the third period.
Hershey jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Mike Sgarbossa at 13:52, and Snively’s first of the night at 14:56. Shots after 20 minutes were 11-10 Hershey.
Springfield pulled even with a pair of goals in the second period and eventually took a 3-2 lead. Dakota Joshua made it 2-1 at 11:05 on a sharp-angle shot and Nathan Todd got the equalizer at 14:56 with a net-front deflection.
Logan Brown’s power play strike at 2:39 of the third stanza gave the Thunderbirds their first lead of the night, but less than three minutes later, Kale Kessy finished off a pass from Kody Clark to make it a 3-3 game.
“After they took that lead we responded and hung in there and found a way for Snively and Kessy to score, which was really a great response after the Saturday game,” said Allen. “We’ve had so many lineup changes recently, due to call-ups and injuries, which made it exciting for the guys called to the Capitals, but that made it challenging for us to try and figure out lineups and defensive pairings, so the mantra right now is ‘the next man standing’.”
Hershey took advantage of a late third-period power play opportunity when Snively connected for his second goal of the night and eventual game-winner at 16:51. His unassisted, empty net goal completed the hat-trick at 19:24.
The Chocolate-and-White finished the night 2-for-5 on the man-advantage, as Fucale stopped 26 shots for his third win of the season. The teams combined for 50 penalty minutes.
The Bears (5-2-2-1) return to action on Wednesday when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms visit Giant Center.