On Friday night, Hershey (8-3-2-0) was handed a 4-0 loss to end its winning streak and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7-4-1-0) ended their four game losing streak.
On Saturday Hershey continued its winning ways at the GIANT Center with a dominating 6-1 victory over the visiting Hartford Wolfpack to extend its undefeated record in regulation starts in the season on home ice to nine games (8-0-1-0), with its sixth consecutive home victory.
Hartford rebounded on Sunday with a 4-2 victory to end Hershey’s undefeated streak on home ice in regulation starts to nine games.
The Penguins struck quickly on Friday when Drake Caggiula sent a rebound of Mitch Reinke’s shot past Hershey goalie Zach Fucale at the 4:16 mark of the first period, and that would prove to be the game-winner.
Hershey outshot the Penguins by a 9-6 margin in the second period.
It appeared that the Bears had tied the game with 4:19 remaining in the frame, but the apparent deflection goal off the shot from the left point by Vincent Iorio was waved off for contact with the goaltender, after Hershey’s Kale Kessy appeared to have brushed goaltender Dustin Tokarski.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made it 2-0 at 13:46 of the third when Jonathan Gruden fired a shot that banged off the post and into the goal.
The Penguins scored twice in the third frame on goals by Sam Houde at 15:24, and Filip Hallander’s empty-net score at 18:52.
Shots finished 26-22 favoring the Bears. Tokarski stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and also had a secondary assist on Gruden’s goal.
The Bears were 0-for-5 on the power play, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 0-for-2.
Hershey went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and has been perfect on the kill in four straight games. Hershey is 13-for-13 in that span and now ranks sixth in the AHL on the penalty kill at 85.1%, a mark that is the best among Atlantic Division clubs.
In Saturday’s contest with the visiting Hartford Wolfpack, the line of Mason Morelli, Henrik Borgstrom and Garrett Pilon highlighted the offense for the Bears (9-3-2-0) in the first period, as each forward had a goal and assist.
Sam Anas celebrated his 100th pro goal in the second period and the Bears established a new season-high for goals in the 6-1 victory over the Wolf Pack (4-5-1-3).
Morelli struck first at 9:50, after jamming the puck past goalie Louis Domingue at the left post during a goalmouth scramble, with Pilon and Borgstrom getting the assists.
Hershey made it 2-0 when Bobby Nardella sent the puck to Aaron Ness who fed a backhand pass to Borgstrom in the high slot. His wrist shot over the glove of Domingue at 16:50 was his third of the season, and that became the eventual game-winner.
With 1.3 seconds left in the stanza, Pilon fired the puck from a sharp angle at the left of the net that eluded Domingue for his second of the season, with Morelli and Logan Day assisting.
The Wolf Pack replaced Domingue in net with Dylan Garand to start the second period, then Anas reached the century mark for career goals when he deflected Vincent Iorio’s shot from the right point past Garand at 5:50 for his fourth of the season. Gabriel Carlsson received credit for the secondary assist.
At 9:10 Anas passed the puck to Mike Sgarbossa, who spun around in the slot and found Mike Vecchione at the left circle for a back-door play that Vecchione finished with his fourth of the season to make it 5-0.
Hartford ruined Hershey goalie Hunter Shepard’s shutout hopes at 16:23, when Andy Welinski managed to send a shot past him to make it to 5-1.
The Bears made it 6-1 at 19:46 when Hendrix Lapierre buried a Dylan McIlrath rebound that went to video review when it appeared Garand may have gotten a piece of Lapierre’s shot with the paddle of his goalie stick. But it was confirmed that the puck had fully crossed the goal line, giving the Bears rookie his fourth of the season. Shane Gersich added the secondary helper.
“We got a couple of breaks in the first period for a 3-0 lead and were able to move on from there,” Bears coach Todd Nelson said. “Right now we are getting contributions from a lot of different people with all four lines playing very well.”
Shots finished 32-19 Hershey. The Bears were 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Wolf Pack did not have an opportunity with the man advantage.
With the win, Hershey extended it’s undefeated in regulation starts to the season on home ice to nine games (8-0-1-0), and gave Hershey its sixth consecutive home victory.
Hershey scored a season-high six goals and the 6-1 win was also the Chocolate and White’s largest margin of victory this season. The Bears have now outscored opponents 30-14
Garrett Pilon sustained a lower-body injury at 18:47 of the second period that forced him out for the remainder of the game.
Hartford did not have a power play and Hershey tied a season-low with just two penalty minutes.
In Sunday’s match with the Wolfpack, Andy Welinski scored on the first shot of the game on a power play at 3:49 to put Hartford up 1-0.
Midway through the period, Dylan McIlrath and Matt Rempe squared off at center ice in a heavy weight tussle. On the ensuing play the Bears rode the momentum to a tying goal by capitalizing on a Hartford turnover when Julian Napravnik roofed a shot over the glove of Louis Domingue for his first pro goal at 10:05. Shane Gersich and Logan Day assisted on the tally.
Henrik Borgstrom gave Hershey the lead when Henrik Rybinski pounced on a giveaway by Domingue behind the net and fed it out in front for Borgstrom, who tallied his fourth goal of the season, and his 100th career point.
The Wolf Pack made 2-2 with a shorthanded goal by Ben Harpur 51 seconds into the middle period, slamming Tim Gettinger’s rebound shot home. Then at 5:58, Hartford took a 3-2 lead when Ty Emberson one-timed a shot from the left point that made its way past a screened Zach Fucale.
Will Cuylle finished the scoring in the final stanza with an unassisted empty-net goal at 18:12.
“We just have to get rested and ready to go for the road trip coming up because we got away from our game plan tonight, which obviously was frustrating,” coach Nelson saide in a relatively brief statement.
Shots finished 22-21 favoring Hershey. The Bears were 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Wolf Pack was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
The game was part of Hershey’s overall Hockey Fights Cancer Night, which featured the Bears wearing special lavender Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys that were auctioned off following the game to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Connor McMichael has been loaned to Hershey. He has appeared in six games with the Capitals this season.
The Bears hit the road for a three-game road trip, starting with their first meeting of the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center on Wednesday, Nov. 23 then traveling to Hartford for Friday and Saturday matches.
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