Friday night, the Hershey Bears held on for a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on the backs of Christian Thomas and Travis Boyd.
After two second-period tallies, Thomas took sole position of the team lead in goals (11) over newly-graduated Jakub Vrana. On a first period assist and the game-winning goal in the third, Boyd moved into first on the team in points with 19.
Top prospect defenseman Madison Bowey also scored in his first game back following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury. Joe Cannata stopped 23 shots in the Bears’ fourth straight win.
— AHL (@TheAHL) December 3, 2016
(Allentown, PA- December 2, 2016)- Forward Christian Thomas had three points, and the Hershey Bears held off a late comeback attempt to earn a 4-3 victory over the rival Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night at the PPL Center. The Bears have now won four straight games and finish a home-and-home series with the Phantoms tomorrow night at the GIANT Center.
Hershey opened the scoring on Friday as Madison Bowey struck at 17:33 of the first period. In his first game back from a lower-body injury, Bowey scored his third goal of the season on a broken play. The Bears rushed up ice as Thomas led the charge. His pass to Travis Boyd was denied, but the puck bounced back to Bowey in the slot. His shot beat Lehigh Valley netminder Alex Lyon to make it 1-0 Bears.
In the second period, Thomas went to work, scoring a pair of goals to extend Hershey’s lead to 3-0. A great forecheck by Liam O’Brien created a turnover at 9:57, and Thomas slipped a wrist shot over the glove of Lyon for his 10th goal of the season to double Hershey’s lead.
Thomas would score again at 14:59 on an odd play. O’Brien rushed up ice on a two-on-one and fed Thomas on the right wing. His shot was denied by Lyon, but the puck popped out of the netminder’s glove and rolled into the net off a defender’s skate.
After the Phantoms got a power play goal from T.J. Brennan at 18:55 of the second period, Hershey’s Travis Boyd scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the third period. O’Brien again factored in, shoveling a shot to the net from the right wing that Lyon stopped. Boyd poked the rebound into the open goal to make it 4-1 Hershey at 59 seconds of the third period.
Lehigh Valley would strike back with two goals to cut the Bears lead to just one. Jordan Weal scored at 8:08 on the power play, and Robert Hagg tallied his first goal of the season at 15:48 to make it 4-3. The Phantoms pulled Lyon for an extra attacker late, but Cannata and the Bears held on for the win. The Hershey netminder stopped 23 shots to earn his seventh win of the season. The Bears were outshot, 26-23 on Friday.
The Bears enter tomorrow’s game with 28 points, tied for the most in the Atlantic Division with Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Tonight’s win moved Hershey one point ahead of Lehigh Valley through 20 games.
Tomorrow night’s contest is Pennsylvania Lottery Night as the Bears host Lehigh Valley at 7 p.m. Tickets are available and more information is available on HersheyBears.com.
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