Monday Night Hockey. It has a nice ring to it. The Hershey Bears made up their Saturday night showdown against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at GIANT Center, after the “Blizzard of 2016” struck Pennsylvania.
To kick off the night, the Chocolate and White possessed the puck well in the offensive end, but couldn’t find the grade “A” scoring chance. It led to a 9-8 shot advantage for Hershey after 20 minutes, but nothing to show on the scoreboard. Also an 0-for-4 in the stanza on the power play capped the period scoring woes.
With 48 seconds to play in the first period, Lehigh Valley stormed down ice with a shorthanded scoring chance, and they capitalized. After Taylor Leier rang the iron on a hard shot, Cole Bardreau pounced on the loose puck to beat Justin Peters.
Into the middle frame, the goals quickly began to fall like snowflakes. Both teams scored three unanswered goals, leading to a Lehigh Valley 4-3 lead after 40 minutes. It started with Mike Moore at the 7:11 mark, with a snap shot from the outside that beat Anthony Stolarz.
Madison Bowey picked up an assist on Moore’s tally, and grabbed a goal of his own just 90 seconds later. Bowey made a run from the point to the low slot, quickly received a pass from Sean Collins and capitalized in close. It became 3-1 Hershey with 9:45 left in the period thanks to Paul Carey. He scored top shelf after a crisp feed from Scott Gomez.
But as we have seen all season long against the Phantoms, a two goal lead is never safe. With 6:41 remaining, Bardreau picked up his second goal of the night, and in similar fashion to the first. Following a stop by Justin Peters, Bardreau again crashed the crease and finished the loose change.
2:21 left on the clock, David Drewiske tied the hockey game at 3-3. Sure enough the momentum game continued in Lehigh Valley’s favor, and special teams have them a late 4-3 lead before intermission. After a Riley Barber hooking minor at the 18:45 mark, Taylor Leier scored just seven seconds into the man-advantage.
Special teams is certainly the difference through two periods. The Bears are 0-for-5 on the power play, 2-for-3 on the PK, and have yielded a shorthanded goal.
The wildness continued into the third period, as the Phantoms gained a 5-3 advantage on the power play. Garrett Mitchell was sent to the box for a high sticking double minor, and Lehigh Valley scored once more on the man-advantage. Colin McDonald received credit for the goal at the 4:14 mark.
Hershey once again displayed great, third period resiliency at home and fought back to tie the hockey game. Travis Boyd notched his ninth of the season with 6:54 left, followed by a Chris Bourque power play goal 1:11 later. Bourque’s tally was Hershey’s lone goal on eight power play tries.
An entertaining, 3-on-3 overtime solved nothing, leading to the Bears’ eighth shootout of the season. Their record falls to 2-6 on the campaign in the three round skills competition, as the Bears fell 6-5 to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Submitted by intern Matt Trust