Saturday night, the Hershey Bears were able to jump out to a three-goal lead over the Springfield Thunderbirds on goals from Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, and Christian Thomas. Thomas’ goal would tie him with Jakub Vrana for the team lead (9).
Although the Thunderbirds were able to battle back in the second, the Bears would thwart any comeback attempts as Travis Boyd would score the eventual game-winner early in the third for his second goal of the game. It came off a dynamite Vrana assist. The win was the Bears’ second over the Thunderbirds in as many nights.
Vrana and Boyd are now tied for second on the Bears in points (16). Caps prospect goaltender Vitek Vanecek stopped 16 shots for the win. The win marked Troy Mann’s 100th with the Bears.
(Hershey, PA- November 26, 2016)-Travis Boyd scored two goals, and the Hershey Bears completed a perfect three-game week with a 4-3 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds at GIANT Center on Saturday night. The victory was Hershey head coach Troy Mann’s 100th career win with the Bears, making him the 11th coach in franchise history to achieve this mark. The Bears have now collected standings points in six straight games.
Boyd opened the scoring early as Hershey bolted out to 3-0 lead Saturday. After a great forecheck by Hershey’s Christian Thomas created a turnover, Boyd scored his third goal of the season, beating Springfield goaltender Reto Berra over the glove to make it 1-0 at 2:03 of the first period.
At 7:55, Hershey scored again as the power play struck on a goal by Chandler Stephenson. The forward banked a bad-angle shot off the post and past Berra for his second goal of the season. The goal ended Berra’s night. He was pulled in favor of Mike McKenna after allowing two goals on four shots.
Thomas would extend Hershey’s lead to 3-0 at 1:33 of the second period, snapping a shot over McKenna’s glove. Thomas is now tied for the team lead with nine goals.
However, Springfield would strike for two quick goals at 9:45 and 11:53 to cut Hershey’s lead to just a goal. Anthony Greco scored from the slot, then Jared McCann scored his first AHL goal on a rush to make it 3-2 Hershey.
The Bears would score the eventual game-winning goal as Boyd struck for his second tally of the game on a perfectly executed two-on-one rush. Jakub Vrana sent a backhand pass to Boyd, and the forward slid a shot past an outstretched McKenna at 3:49 of the third period for his fourth goal of the season.
Springfield’s Shane Harper would again cut the lead to just a goal at 16:01, but Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek saved his best stop for last. With under 20 seconds to play, Vanecek robbed Dryden Hunt from the left wing to earn Hershey the victory.
Mann’s 100th victory adds him to an exclusive list of Hershey coaches who have accomplished the honor including Frank Mathers, John Paddock, Bruce Boudreau, and most recently, Mark French.
Hershey outshot the Thunderbirds 25-19 in the win and went 1-for-5 on the power play. The Thunderbirds were held to 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Hershey is back in action in Lehigh Valley next Friday at the PPL Center. The game can be heard on the Bears Radio Network.
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