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1 year ago
The VSF Line Propels Bears to Road Victory

BY DON SCOTT

The line of Mike Vecchione (2g, 2a), Mike Sgarbossa (1g, 1a) and Ethen Frank (1g, 3a) led the way with a 10-point night as the Hershey Bears (16-5-2-0) picked up a 4-2 road victory over the Bridgeport Islanders (13-5-4-0) on Friday night. The victory was Hershey’s fifth consecutive win on the road, and also moved Hershey back into first place in the American Hockey League’s overall standings.

The Islanders scored 1:34 into the contest to take the early lead when Ruslan Iskhakov skated down the right wing and sent a backhand shot that snuck through the pads of goalie Zach Fucale.

Vecchione tied the game for the Bears when Dylan McIlrath sent a pass through the neutral zone to Frank, who made his way into the offensive zone and sent a behind-the-back pass from the right circle into the slot to Vecchione. It was Vecchione’s eighth goal of the season.

The Bears finished the first period with 21 shots on goal, a new season-high.

Hershey took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Bridgeport netminder Schneider misplayed the puck on a dump-in from Frank, giving it away to Vecchione, who located Sgarbossa in the slot at 4:16 for his sixth of the season.

Vecchione tallied his second of the evening at 16:54 when he teamed up with Frank on an odd-man rush and buried a feed from Frank behind Schneider to make it 3-1.

The Islanders made it 3-2 just 22 seconds into the third period when Cole Bardr beat Fucale.

Frank completed his career night when he netted an empty-net tally from Vecchione and Sgarbossa, with Schneider pulled, at 19:13. The goal was Frank’s seventh of the season.

Shots finished 41-22 favoring Hershey, as the Bears matched their single-game season-high for shots on goal.

Fucale stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced to pick up his tenth win of the season. The Bears were 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Islanders went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.

Hershey will host the Cleveland Monsters for the first time at Giant Center on Saturday at 7 p.m., and then again on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Bears Notes:

The Bears were 8-3-0-0 going into the game when leading after the first period.

Hershey entered the game riding a 13-game point streak against Bridgeport, dating back to the team’s days as the Sound Tigers. Hershey won six consecutive meetings with Bridgeport starting Dec. 14, 2019, followed by a 4-3 shootout loss on Jan. 12 last season, after which Hershey proceeded to win its next six games, for an overall 12-0-0-1 stretch.

*** 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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