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2 weeks ago
Bears Stay Hot, On the Road

BY DON SCOTT

Matt Moulson scored twice, including his 300th career American Hockey League point and Vitek Vanecek made 31 saves to lead Hershey to a 5-2 road win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday.

Hershey’s victory marked its fifth straight away from Giant Center, tying a season-high. As they did in Saturday’s game, the Bears scored twice on the man-advantage to go along with a perfect effort on the penalty kill.

Moulson put the Bears in front 69 seconds into the game with his 17th goal of the season, after Joe Snively created a turnover at the blue line. Philippe Maillet sent a pass across the low-slot to draw Phantoms goaltender J.F. Berube out of position for Moulson’s easy tap in. 

A Phantoms penalty became the first power play situation for Hershey. Maillet sent the puck to Christian Djoos, who fed Garrett Pilon in the slot for a shot that hit the net for his 14th goal of the season, at 3:01.

In the second period, Lehigh Valley countered with a pair of goals to pull even.

Steven Swavely scored his first of the season, after walking in front of the Bears net and stuffing a shot past Vanecek at 2:56. Isaac Ratcliffe converted on a Hershey defensive zone turnover and sent a quick shot home at 16:46.

The Bears took advantage of another Phantoms’ penalty in the third period to regain the lead. Bobby Nardella and Christian Djoos set up Moulson, who had an open net to hit at 9:11.

Brett Leason doubled Hershey’s lead with a key insurance tally at 14:07, lifting a backhander past Berube to score his first goal since Dec. 1. Djoos recorded the secondary helper on the play for his third assist of the tilt.

Maillet joined Djoos with a three-assist outing, earning the lone assist on Brian Pinho’s empty net goal at 19:21. 

Final shots on goal totaled 33-21 Phantoms. Hershey’s power play finished 2-for-4 and the penalty kill was 5-for-5.

J.F. Berube is 1-2-2 against the Bears, while Vitek Vanecek is 6-1-0 against Lehigh Valley, following Sunday’s contest.

Hershey’s record of 31-15-2-3 gives it a three-point lead over second-place Hartford in the Atlantic Divisio, but the Wolf Pack has played two less games.

The Bears return to action on the road Friday night, with the first of four meetings in 2019-20 against the Binghamton Devils.

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