Bears “OT” Win in Hartford

The Hershey Bears once again travelled to the “XL Center” to play the Hartford Wolf Pack for the fifth time this season and the second time in two nights, Hershey would go on to win 1-0 in a overtime shootout victory. The Bears and Hartford do not play each other again this season until the February 2nd game at the “Giant Center”, which will be the final regular season meeting of these two teams.

The most valuable players of this game definitely were the goaltenders, both Zach Fucale with Hershey and Dylan Garand for Hartford. Fucale entered the game with a 0.913 save percentage, 22 goals against and no shutout wins for the Bears this season. When the final buzzer of regulation sounded the game surprisingly remained 0-0. The first overtime period played out much like the 3 regulation periods, scoreless for both Hartford and Hershey. The Wolf Pack started the shootout off with a score from Jonny Brodzinski and Hershey quickly responded with a score of their own from Connor McMichael, making this McMichael’s second goal of the season. Bobby Trivigno would be the next Wolf Pack shooter to try his hand, fortunately for the Bears Fucale quickly shut Trivigno down. Hershey’s Sam Anas attempted a tricky little deke move which an unphased Garand easily gobbled up for Hartford’s second stop. Then there were two, Will Cuylle for Hartford and Mike Sgarbossa for Hershey were the remaining shooters of the night. Cuylle would fail in his attempt while Sgarbossa would go on to win it for the Bears, 1-0.

Hershey was not afraid to shoot the puck tonight, racking up a staggering 39 shots on goal compared to the Wolf Packs 16. Hershey stepped up their play and their scoring chances tonight especially since they entered this game with a “Last in the League” 27.2 shots on goal per game average. The Bears also played a more disciplined style of hockey than we have seen this season, only giving Hartford one Powerplay chance which The Wolf Pack could not capitalize on. Hartford had 6 minutes in box while the Bears only served 4, all of which came in the first period. Henrik Rybinski recorded 2 penalty minutes for “Hooking” and Mike Sgarbossa served 2 minutes of his own for “Roughing”.

Hershey pulled off a perfect “Holiday” road trip by beating The Springfield Thunderbirds on Wednesday and The Hartford Wolf Pack both Friday and Saturday night. The Bears move up in league standings from 7th to 2nd place with a (12-4-2) record, the Providence Bruins are sitting at the top of the league standings with a record of (12-2-3). The Hershey Bears will head home and enjoy a brief 2 day break before facing their division/home town rivals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Wilkes-Barre comes to “Giant Center” with an away record of (6-2-1) which could make for an exciting Tuesday night game for Bears and Penguins fans alike. Puck drop will be at 7:00pm E/T on Tuesday, November 29th. Fans can catch all the action on the AHL TV app or on Fox Sports Radio 1460 in Harrisburg.

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I was born and raised in the small town of Fort Defiance, VA ( about 45 mins west of Charlottesville). Football was always a main priority of mine and from the time I could play, I did. After graduating high school in 2010 and choosing not to chase college ball, I found myself working in local factories and warehouses around my town. I have since moved to Lynchburg, VA where I have settled down, gotten married, had a beautiful little girl and have another one on the way. Ice Hockey has also become a huge part of my life. In 2015 my brother returned from a year long tour in Afghanistan bringing along with him a new found interest in Hockey, which he later introduced to me. The minute I walked in to Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. I was hooked. The speed of the game, the passion of the warriors competing on the ice, and the physicality yet gracefulness of the 250lb hulks gliding around on razor sharp knife shoes. Sports are my way of leaving reality for a while and (even if its in my own head) getting to be part of a team again!

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