The Hershey Bears played their rivals The Lehigh Valley Phantoms twice in a matter of twenty four hours this weekend, and the outcome wasn’t ideal for Hershey fans.
Saturday would see Hershey in Allentown, PA at the PP&L Center with a puck drop of 7pm. Riley Barber would get Hershey the lead at 6:47 in the second period, this goal would be Barber’s 12th of the season, giving him the lead in team scoring. Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs would get points for the weekend with their assists. T.J. Brennan quickly tied the game making it 1-1 less than four minutes later. Colby Williams would then find himself in hot water after a controversial illegal check to the head on Danick Martel at center ice, that resulted in an ejection from the game, leaving Hershey with five defensemen for the rest of the game. Luckily, Hershey would, hold strong and kill the five minute major keeping the game tied 1-1 going into the second period.
Just over eight minutes into the final Matt Read would get the game winning goal and the bears lose to Lehigh Valley 2-1. The Bears outshot Lehigh Valley 30-24. This loss brings Hershey’s record to 17-17-2-3. Hershey then headed back home to play Lehigh yet again on home ice.
Sunday’s game opened up, pretty much the same as Saturday night’s with Hershey getting the first goal. Chris Bourque would prove his Olympic status getting his twelfth goal of the season. Mathias Bau and Travis Boyd would see a point each on this goal with the first and second assist. Boyd’s assist on this play would be his 100th AHL career assist, all happening while in a Hershey Bears jersey! The rest of the first period would play out with a couple minor penalties, as things started to get pretty chippy between these long time rivals.
In the second period, Nicolas Aube-Kubel would tie up the game at 8:59 in the period. There would be some more back and for the from the teams and each would see two more power plays before the end of the third. Luckily, Hershey’s Penalty Kill was on point and the game would be forced to go into overtime. Unfortunately, at :24 into OT, Aaron Ness would go to the box for holding, which would allow Lehigh Valley to score only twenty seconds later. T.J. Brennan would get the game winning power play goal and Hershey would lose 2-1. Lehigh Valley would outshoot Hershey 32-29. Hershey has now lost to Lehigh Valley five times in eight showings for the season series. Bringing their overall record for the season to 17-17-3-3.
Hershey will be back in action Wednesday evening at 7 PM when they take on The Springfield Thunderbirds in Massachusetts.