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Stingy Bears Stay Red Hot

BY DON SCOTT

The Hershey Bears scored just five goals on their most recent three-game road trip. But Hershey came away with three victories, a 2-1 win over Springfield on Wednesday, a 2-1 triumph in Hartford on Friday and a 1-0 shootout victory on Saturday.

Mike Vecchione and Henrik Borgstrom scored, and goalie Hunter Shepard made 30 saves as the Hershey Bears (11-4-2-0) picked up their second consecutive road victory with another 2-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-7-1-3) on Friday night at the XL Center.

The win marked the first time this season that the Bears won back-to-back road games, after picking up a 2-1 win in Springfield on Wednesday.

Vecchione scored 34 seconds into the contest to give the Bears a 1-0 lead when he found a Dylan McIlrath rebound from the point and put it behind Louis Domingue for his fifth tally of the season. Mike Sgarbossa picked up the secondary assist on the tally.

Later in the period, with the Bears on a power play, Hendrix Lapierre and Mason Morelli skated into the offensive zone on a give-and-go before Lapierre passed the puck over to the right circle where Borgstrom one-timed it past Domingue at 18:04, for his fifth of the season, putting Hershey ahead 2-0.

Tim Gettinger got the Wolf Pack on the board with an unassisted goal at 4:07 of the third period cutting Hershey’s lead to 2-1.

Shots finished 31-28 favoring Hartford. The Bears were 1-for-4 on the power play and Hartford was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Bears Notes:

It was Hershey’s first victory at Hartford since March 7, 2020, which was a 4-1 win.

On Saturday, the Bears (12-4-2-0) completed a perfect sweep of their three-game road trip with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-7-1-4) at the XL Center.

With the win, the Bears reached the 2022-23 campaign’s quarter-mark with the team’s best 18-game start since the 2009-10 Bears squad (13-5-0-0). The game also marked the first 1-0 win for Hershey since March 6, 2020, at Hartford, and the first time the Bears competed in a 1-0 game decided in a shootout since Nov. 13, 2019, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1-0 SOL).

Goaltending was the story for 65 minutes of play, with Hershey’s Zach Fucale and Hartford’s Dylan Garand stopping everything at opposite ends of the ice.

The Bears fired 18 shots on Garand in the second period and that matched their season-high for shots on goal in a stanza. Garand turned aside a breakaway opportunity by Jake Massie and was helped out by the crossbar on an Ethen Frank opportunity.

Hershey outshot Hartford 10-3 in the third, but neither team managed to find the back of the net. That set up the overtime period where each team managed three shots without a score.

Fucale and Garand both recorded their first shutouts of the season along with their first shootout of the season.

Hartford elected to shoot first in the penalty-shot contest with both Jonny Brodzinski and Connor McMichael scoring in the first round, then Bobby Trivigno and Sam Anas scored in Round Two for Hershey.

In Round Three, Fucale got a piece of Will Cuylle’s shot then Mike Sgarbossa’s wrist shot eluded Garand for the 1-0 victory.

Shots finished 39-16 favoring the Bears. The Bears were 0-for-2 on the power play, while Hartford was 0-for-1 with the man advantage.

Bears Notes:

When the Bears do not surrender a first period goal they have a 10-1-0-0 record this year.

The Bears return to Giant Center against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

*** For a chance to win two free tickets to an upcoming Bears’ home game, email your name, email address, home address and phone number to  dscottsports@comcast.net to be entered in a random drawing. A drawing for two tickets will take place each week. You must send a separate email to enter each week of the season. Previous winners will not be considered.

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