The lone game for the Chocolate and White at GIANT Center on the weekend came against the defending Western Conference Champions, Utica Comets. An exciting, back-and-forth pace with key stops by Comets’ Richard Bachman was the first period story.
Nathan Walker broke through and capitalized following a crisp pass by Scott Gomez with 1:08 left in the frame. It was a period dominated by Hershey 5-on-5, and Walker’s goal was vital to give his club a well deserved advantage going into intermission. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 10-8 Bears.
Into the middle stanza, the Bears quickly doubled their lead to two. Jakub Vrana slid a cross-ice pass to Travis Boyd, who finished into a gaping, open net.
Utica cashed in and got on the board thanks to a power play goal by Alexandre Grenier. At the 12:09 mark, Grenier tipped a point shot past Dan Ellis. Tonight’s start for Ellis marks his third consecutive nod for the Bears, and he has played outstanding of late.
Just 51 seconds later, Hershey responded 200 feet away, making it a 3-1 game. In similar fashion to the Travis Boyd goal, Nathan Walker sent a perfect pass across to Riley Barber on the back door.
Chris Bourque added a goal with 20.1 seconds left in the second period, extending Hershey’s lead to 4-1 prior to intermission. Vrana found Bourque on a stretch pass, and Bourque from a sharp angle snapped a target breaking shot into the net.
Zach Sill added a shorthanded breakaway goal at 10:45 of the third period to round out a 5-1 final.
The best news coming out of today, the Hershey Bears put the month of February to bed on top of the Atlantic Division. Hershey’s win, combined with a loss earlier in the day to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and the Bears are division leaders.
Submitted by intern Matt Trust