Friday night, the Hershey Bears trailed the Springfield Thunderbirds 2-1 going into the third period. Halfway through the period, Brad Malone tied the game, forcing the game to an extra frame.
In overtime, Travis Boyd led a rush up the ice and chipped a pass to 21-year-old defenseman Colby Williams. The 2015 sixth round pick out-waited the opposing netminder and tucked home the game winner on his backhand. It was Williams’ first professional goal. Joe Cannata made 27 saves in the win.
Overtime is a great time to net your first pro goal. pic.twitter.com/FHwwz9Cada
— AHL (@TheAHL) November 5, 2016
(Springfield, MA – November 4, 2016) –Colby Williams first professional goal could not have come at a better time. The rookie defender scored 1:02 into overtime to give the Hershey Bears a 3-2 comeback victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center Friday night. The victory was Hershey’s third straight win and the club has now collected standings points in six straight games.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the third period, the Bears found a way to even the score against a strong Springfield defensive team. On an offensive zone faceoff, Hershey defender Joey Leach fed a pass to Williams. The defender’s slap shot was denied by Springfield netminder Mike McKenna, but Brad Malone pounced on the rebound. The Hershey forward popped the rebound over Springfield goaltender Mike McKenna to make it 2-2 at 12:41 of the third period.
The lone shot in overtime proved to be the game-winning goal from Williams. Hershey’s Travis Boyd rushed up the ice and cut to the slot. He chipped a pass over to Williams on the right wing. The defender cut around McKenna to give Hershey their first overtime win of the season.
In Friday’s contest, Hershey opened the scoring as Paul Carey scored his fourth goal of the season on the power play at 8:43 of the opening period. Chris Bourque snapped a shot from the left wing on the Springfield net. The first shot was kicked out by McKenna, but the Carey struck on the rebound from the right wing to make it 1-0.
Springfield would turn the tides in the second period with a pair of goals to take the lead. Chase Balisy collected his second goal of the season, jamming the rebound of a Paul Thompson shot past Hershey netminder Joe Cannata at 8:49 to tie the game.
Just seconds later at 9:19, Springfield struck again. Graham Black poked a loose puck to the back of the net for his first goal of the season to make it 2-1 Springfield. Thompson’s initial shot was deflected by teammate Dryden Hunt, knocking Cannata off balance. With the puck loose, Black out-raced Hershey defender Aaron Ness for the goal.
Cannata was strong the rest of the way, earning his third victory of the season, stopping 27 shots. Hershey outshot Springfield 32-29 in the win.
Hershey continues a busy weekend with a pair of games at the GIANT Center. Tomorrow the Bears host the Albany Devils for a 7 p.m. puck drop. On Sunday, the Bears host the Rochester Americans at 5 p.m. It’s David A. Smith Team Photo Night and Team Autograph Night. Tickets are available.
A photo posted by Hershey Bears (@thehersheybears) on
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