2013 second-round pick Zach Sanford had his biggest night as a professional Sunday, scoring two goals and registering four points in Hershey’s 6-1 rout of Rochester. Sanford’s four points were the most accumulated in a game by a Hershey Bears player this season.
The Bears went into the first intermission trailing the Americans 1-0. Then it was Sanny time.
Sanford first tied the game up 2:55 into the second period, beating Linus Ullmark high and glove side on a breakaway.
7:19 later, Sanford punched through on the power play after taking a beautiful pass from Chris Bourque in the slot.
Sanford would later tally secondary assists on the Bears’ fourth and sixth goals of the game.
The Caps prospect now has seven points in six AHL games since being sent down from the Capitals two weeks ago. Sanford also has four goals in the last four games.
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Five goals in the second period, and four points from rookie forward Zach Sanford lead the Hershey Bears to a 6-1 victory over the Rochester Americans at GIANT Center Sunday evening. Hershey earned their 10th win of the season on home ice in front of 8,771 fans and improved to 15-5-4-1 on the season.
Trailing 1-0 to open the second period, Hershey turned in its strongest offensive period of the year in the middle frame. Hershey struck for five goals, including two from Sanford, to take a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes. Sanford opened the scoring for the Bears shorthanded at 2:55. The forward chipped the puck down the right wing and raced in on a breakaway. He snapped a shot over the glove of netminder Linus Ullmark to make it 1-1. The goal was Hershey’s first shorthanded tally of the season.
Sanford scored again, striking on the power play at 10:36. Chris Bourque sent a pass to Sanford in front of the net. The forward beat Ullmark over the shoulder for his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-1 Bears.
After Travis Boyd scored at 14:25 to make it 3-1, Hershey struck on the power play again at 17:07. Christian Djoos scored, squeaking a shot from the point through the five-hole of a standing Ullmark to make it 4-1 Hershey. The goal was Djoos’ fourth goal of the season and Boyd and Sanford assisted.
Paul Carey extended his AHL-best point streak to 15 games with his sixth goal of the season at 19:42 of the second period. Madison Bowey chipped a pass across to Carey on the right wing and the forward beat an outstretched Ullmark to make it 5-1 Hershey.
Christian Thomas would add a third Hershey power play goal at 18:34 of the third period to give Hershey a 6-1 lead. The goal was Thomas’ team-leading 12th goal of the season and sixth power play goal of the year. Aaron Ness and Sanford assisted on the tally that came on a one-time slap shot from the left wing.
Hershey’s special teams played a large role in the win as they went 3-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. The Bears fired a season-high 42 shots and allowed only 18 Rochester shots to reach the net. Vitek Vanecek earned the win in goal for Hershey with 17 saves. Sanford’s four points (two goals and two assists) were the most in a game by a Hershey player this season.
Hershey is back in action with three games next weekend. The Bears visit Lehigh Valley on Friday, then return home on Saturday for UGI Snow Globe Night and Healthcare Night as the Hartford Wolf Pack visit at 7 p.m. Sunday is Hersheypark Pass Night, Hall of Fame Night
and a 20th Anniversary 96-97 Championship Team Silent Jersey Auction as the Bears host Springfield at 5 p.m. Ticket information is available at HersheyBears.com.
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