The Hershey Bears were able to beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 in the first leg of a home-and-home, Friday night. The Bears would receive a strong outing from goaltender Joe Cannata stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Liam O’Brien began the scoring for the Bears early in the first. After Springfield finished the period up 2-1, the Bears would score four unanswered goals to win the game 5-2.
Christian Djoos tied the game on a powerplay fifteen minutes into the second. With twenty seconds left in the period, Nathan Walker would score his first of two goals to give the Bears the lead. Jakub Vrana got the assist on both second period goals.
The Bears ended the third with two empty net goals. Zach Sill would get the first, and Walker would get the second for his second of the game.
The two goals pushed Walker’s season total to six. Vrana’s two assists gives him fifteen points on the season placing him one point behind team leader Chris Bourque. Travis Boyd received the primary assist on the second period powerplay goal by Djoos giving him twelve on the year.
The second leg of the home-and-home series with the Thunderbirds will be played Saturday night.
(Springfield, MA- November 25, 2016)-Two goals late in the second period, and a two goal night from Nathan Walker pushed the Hershey Bears to a 5-2 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Bears have collected standings points in five straight games and finish the second half of a home-and-home versus Springfield tomorrow night at GIANT Center.
Trailing 2-1 in the second period, Hershey went to work on the man advantage after Springfield was whistled for a too many men on the ice penalty. Hershey defender Christian Djoos scored his second goal in as many games to even the score at 15:13. Travis Boyd fed Djoos along the left wing. The defender snapped a shot over the blocker of Springfield goaltender Reto Berra to tie the game, 2-2.
At 19:40, Hershey would score a critical goal late in the period. Darren Dietz threw a wrist shot to the goal that was stopped by the right pad of Berra. The rebound popped loose to Walker who connected for his fifth goal of the season to make it 3-2 Hershey.
In a physical third period, Hershey held Springfield off the scoreboard as netminder Joe Cannata stood tall, stopping six shots. Zach Sill capped off a strong evening, dropping the gloves in the third period and scoring an empty net goal at 18:38 to make it 4-2. Walker would add an empty net goal of his own with 20 seconds to play to seal the victory.
Liam O’Brien also scored for the Bears, getting Hershey on the board just 4:30 into the game. Springfield outshot Hershey 27-21 on the night. Cannata earned his sixth win of the season in goal stopping 25 shots.
Hershey was without forward Paul Carey on Friday. Following Friday’s game, the Washington Capitals announced that they had recalled Carey from Hershey. The forward will join the NHL club on their trip to Toronto.
The Bears host the Thunderbirds tomorrow night at the GIANT Center at 7 p.m. Tickets are available.
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