The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Hershey Bears each grabbed a goal in the opening frame, and carried a 1-1 lock into first intermission. Lehigh Valley tallied first 7:58 in, after a great offensive push on their first penalty kill led to a Chris Bourque tripping minor.
Bourque’s minor penalty led to 4-on-4 open ice, where Shayne Gostisbehere sent a puck into traffic. It set up a nice deflection by Aaron Palushaj, up and over Dan Ellis for the goal. But just 3:19 later, Stan Galiev punctuated his return with a 5-on-5 goal on a snap shot past Jason LaBarbera. Hershey leads in shots 12-8 after 20 minutes.
Both teams traded scoring chances in the middle period including a 5-on-3 power play each, but it was a Hershey’s favorite Aussie capitalizing with 1:19 to play. On the transition, Connor Carrick sent a stretch pass towards an all alone Nathan Walker. Walker buried his second of the season to put the Chocolate and White up 2-1 at second intermission.
The stretch pass came shortly after Aaron Palushaj was leveled and shaken up near the benches. Slow to get off the ice combined with the long change led to Walker’s daylight.
“Defending the Den” is what the Bears will be doing tomorrow, but tonight it’s about defending a third period lead. And that they did with goals by Carter Camper and Chris Bourque en route to a 4-2 road win.
Only 63 seconds into the third period, Ryan Stanton threw a puck near the net from the boards that was tipped in front by Camper. Lehigh would cut the deficit back to one 3:25 later with a strike by Tyrell Goulbourne.
But the Bears showed no panic in the later stages, and Chris Bourque sealed it with an empty net goal at the 19:08 mark.
Hershey jumps to 6-3-0-2 on the year, and will head home to battle St. John’s tomorrow at GIANT Center.
A win tomorrow would cap a perfect six point week, so let’s pack GIANT Center and “Defend the Den”!
Submitted by intern Matt Trust