By Don Scott
The Hershey Bears tried to achieve what has only been accomplished four times in the franchise’s 82-year history in Saturday’s tilt with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. A win would make a winning streak of at least 10 games for the fifth time.
Unfortunately, the Pens claimed a 2-1 decision on a third period power play goal by Thomas DiPauli.
The Chocolate and White recorded 10 consecutive victories in the 2001-02 campaign, and 11 straight in 2008-09 and 2018-19. The franchise record for longest win streak of 12 was set in 2009-10.
The first period was scoreless because an apparent power play goal by Bobby Nardella was washed out due to a Matt Moulson goaltender interference infraction at 15:05.
That call resulted in Hershey coach Spencer Carberry’s comments in his post game comments to the media. “Mike (Duco) is a young ref who should have come over to explain what he saw but Reid (Anderson), who is the more experienced guy, came over to say what happened. That isn’t the normal protocol. It’s tough because the guy was in the exact position to make the right call.
“Sometimes refs will make wrong calls and make mistakes just like I do and players do, but when you’re isolated on a certain thing and there is nothing in the way to distract you that’s where you have to be absolutely sure when you’re disallowing a goal,” added Carberry.
In the second period Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored at 3:34, then the Bears countered 10 minutes later on a power play.
Coming off a hat-trick performance Friday night in Lehigh Valley, Anthony Angello scored glove-side on Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek. Later, Angello served a bench minor for too many men, followed by a Jake Lucchini cross-check at 12:52 to put Hershey on a 5-on-3 man-advantage.
The Bears’ Garrett Pilon connected with Matt Moulson who found the equalizer at 13:41 for his team-leading 12 th of the season and his fourth power play marker this season against the Penguins.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s power play retaliated with the third period’s only goal for the eventual game-winner by DiPauli who overpowered Vanecek at 3:15, after Erik Burgdoerfer was whistled for tripping. Vanecek was pulled for an extra skater with over two minutes to play, but the Bears could not find the tying goal.
Despite the loss, Carberry put a positive spin on the way the team has been playing the past month.
“I like where we are headed and their commitment and attention to detail, said Carberry, “but we still have a long way to go. We have a lot growing to do and get better in areas so they get better at their craft. Right now, I want to know what we need to do to defeat Lehigh Valley tomorrow.”
Final shots on goal finished 30-24 Hershey. The Bears special teams went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Hershey’s record moves to 17-10-2-3, as it remained third in the Atlantic Division.
The Bears conclude their three games in three days Sunday afternoon in Allentown against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at the PPL Center.