The home stretch of the calendar year is in full throttle, as the Hershey Bears welcomed the Syracuse Crunch to town for a rare Tuesday night tilt. The Chocolate and White entered with the goal in mind to bounce back after a setback against the Binghamton Senators on Sunday.
Chris Bourque and captain Garrett Mitchell both returned to the lineup from their respective injuries to hopefully contribute an offensive flavor. The Bears went 0-for-3 on the power play in the opening frame en route to there being no score at intermission.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned away a dozen Hershey shots in the first period, and saw his club provide a 1-0 lead in the middle period. Off a turnover, Tye McGinn scored his third goal against the Bears in the last four periods.
Hershey was handed a four minute power play late in the second period after Ryan Stanton was clipped at the 14:25 mark. On the man-advantage, Carter Camper elevated a rebound into the top corner of the net to knot the game at 1-1.
But with 15 seconds left before intermission, Syracuse pulled ahead on a short-side shot past Dan Ellis. David Broll threw a shot on net from the bottom of the left circle, near the goal line. Certainly a shot Ellis would want to have back. An unfortunate momentum shift in favor of the Crunch right before break.
With 15:02 to play, McGinn knocked in his second of the night to give the Crunch a comfortable two goal lead. Syracuse would not look back and carry the 3-1 score into the finish line.
Vasilevskiy’s play in net for the Crunch may have certainly been the difference. He played like a first round draft pick and soon to be NHL goaltender. Hershey’s 1-for-7 mark on the power play, including a miss on a 4-on-3 for full two minutes late in the third period would also haunt their chances.
The stretch at GIANT Center will continue on New Year’s Eve against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Submitted by intern Matt Trust