Aaron Ness may very well be a hero.
He is the only player to solve Richard Bachman, who has stood upside-down, backwards and every which way possible to keep this a close game. The Comets backstop made his best save when the Utica defense attempted a clear out of their own right corner. The puck banked off of an official’s skate and right into the low slot where Chandler Stephenson was. He had Chris Bourque to pass to, and did, but Bachman lunged over to rob Bourque of his 200th AHL goal.
At the other end, Hershey’s defense – and penalty killing – has been the savior. 12 shots on goal against and when the 12 got through, Justin Peters has been there.
Let’s get this score to hold or improved through 20 more minutes.
Box score here, release below.
Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the first period, but the Comets had the first chance just 10 seconds into the game. Ronalds Kenins jumped right through the Hershey defense and got a shot away from in close, but Justin Peters kept the puck in front of him with a nice stick save.
At the other end, Richard Bachman would then pass test after test, stopping all 11 shots he faced including a breakaway by Dustin Gazley and a shorthanded partial break-in by Zach Sill.
The Bears finally broke through on Bachman at 3:03 of the middle period. Gazley worked the puck up high to Aaron Ness, who teed off from the center point and beat Bachman low inside the right post for his fifth goal of the season. Hershey’s penalty kill again came up big, holding off three more Comets chances with the man advantage.