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Hershey continued its string of one-goal victories with a 2-1 shootout road win Tuesday over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, before following that up with a 1-0 victory over the Providence Bruins in front of a Giant Center sellout crowd on Wednesday.

The Hershey Bears (21-6-2-1) concluded the road portion of their 2022 schedule on Tuesday with a 2-1 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-8-2-3) when Connor McMichael scored and goaltender Zach Fucale stopped all three WB/S shots.

Following a score-less first period, Hershey’s Ethen Frank opened the scoring in the second stanza with a power-play goal, as he one-timed a shot from the left circle past goaltender Dustin Tokarski at 6:06 for his 11th of the season. Aaron Ness and Mike Sgarbossa received credit for the assists.

Alex Nylander tied the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 18:19 when his shot from the left side of the net sneaked underneath the glove of Fucale.

With the score tied at the end of regulation and overtime, the Bears went to their fourth shootout game this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton elected to shoot first, but Nylander failed to convert on his opening attempt in the top of the first round when he fumbled the puck at the blue line.

Connor McMichael’s shot beat Tokarski for a 1-0 Hershey edge, then after both shooters failed to score in the second round, Fucale stopped Drake Caggiula in the top of the third round to secure the win.

Hershey finished with a 40-25 shot advantage. The Bears were 1-for-5 on the power play, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

Bears Notes:

The Bears are 12-1-2-1 in one-goal games this season and 12-0-2-1 when tied after two periods. 

Mike Vecchione scored and Hunter Shepard made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Hershey Bears (22-6-2-1) edged the Providence Bruins (16-6-5-2) by a 1-0 score on Wednesday in front of a sellout crowd of 10,515 at Giant Center.

The match was the opening contest of a season-high seven-game stretch on home ice for the Bears, and the first of two straight between the top two teams in the American Hockey League.

Hershey took a 1-0 lead 12:59 into the first period when Jake Massie found Vecchione in the slot, and the forward wristed the puck past the glove of goaltender Brandon Bussi into the top-right corner of the net for his team-leading 12th of the season. Vincent Iorio received credit on the secondary assist.

A check by Providence’s Chris Wagner on Bears forward Connor McMichael along the boards in the neutral zone at 15:09 of the second period prompted a scrap between Mason Morelli and Wagner. The resulting penalties levied a match penalty to Wagner for a check to the head and a five-minute fighting major, while Morelli received a 10-minute misconduct for instigating, a five-minute fighting major and a two-minute minor for instigating.

Morelli finished the night with a career-high 19 penalty minutes.

“I thought we played a great 60 minutes and didn’t let up the last five minutes to secure the victory,” Massie said, “Our penalty killing has been great all year because we take a lot of pride in it because coach Pat Wellar really instills hard work on the PK and that makes good things happen.”

Shots finished even at 22-22. Shepard’s shutout performance was his eighth victory of the season and eighth consecutive win, along with his third career clean sheet with Hershey.

The Bears were 0-for-4 on the power play, while Providence went 0-for-5 that included a 5-on-3 situation with the man advantage.

Bears Notes:

With the victory, Hershey head coach Todd Nelson clinched his spot to represent the Atlantic Division at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic in Laval, Quebec.

Beck Malenstyn was assigned to the Bears. He appeared in Hershey’s first two games this season prior to his call up to Washington. He recorded 16 points (10g, 6a) in 65 games with the Bears last season, establishing an AHL career high in goals and tying a career high in points. 

Aaron Ness previously spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Bruins, putting up 19 points (3g, 16a) in 55 contests and Providence defenseman Connor Carrick played for Hershey (2013-16) scoring 72 points (18g, 54a) in 133 contest.

Bruins head coach Ryan Mougenel previously served as an assistant for Hershey during the 2013-14 season.

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