Sunday night, the Hershey Bears topped their divisional foe, the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-0 in front of a sold out crowd at the Giant Center.
The Bears were given the lead by Paul Carey, extending his personal point streak to 18 games and the team never looked back from there. Goals from defenseman Darren Dietz, Zach Sill and Chris Bourque sealed the win as the Bears outshot Springfield 31 to 22.
Caps goalie prospect Vitek Vanecek was stout in his cage stopping all 22 shots for his third career AHL shutout.
(Hershey, PA- December 18, 2016)-In their last game before the holiday break, the Hershey Bears brought a sold-out crowd some cheer. Vitek Vanecek earned his third shutout of the season, stopping 22 shots, to lead the Bears to a 4-0 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds Sunday night at GIANT Center. Forward Paul Carey notched a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 18 games as Hershey improved to 16-6-4-2.
On a night where the Bears inducted four new members into the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame, the Bears scored four goals to earn a fourth win of the season against Springfield. Carey opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season, finishing a beautiful passing play from Liam O’Brien. Madison Bowey fed O’Brien the puck on the right wing, and the forward sent a backhand pass to the net. Carey one-timed a shot past Reto Berra from the left wing to make it 1-0 at 18:55 of the first period.
In the second period, Hershey opened up the game with two goals in just 19 seconds. Defender Darren Dietz scored his first goal with Bears, accepting a Carey pass in the slot, and snapping a shot past Berra’s blocker to make it 2-0 at 14:14.
At 14:33, Zach Sill extended the lead to 3-0, lifting a rebound over the glove of Berra. The netminder bobbled a Tyler Lewington shot, and Sill capitalized on the rebound for his fifth goal of the year.
In the third period, Vanecek was busy, but the netminder stopped all 12 Springfield shots fired his direction. He made several key saves on scrambles around the goal to earn the shutout and his eighth win of the season.
The Bears added one additional goal in third period as Chris Bourque scored his seventh goal of the season on the power play at 5:12. The forward’s one-timer from the right wing beat Berra short side to make it 4-0. The goal was Bourque’s 498th point in his Hershey career.
Hershey outshot Springfield 31-22 in the win. The Bears were 1-for-5 on the power play.
The Bears welcomed a sold-out crowd of 10,565 Sunday for a pregame ceremony to induct Mitch Lamoureux (player), Mike Mahoney (player), Bobby Perreault (player) and Charles “Chuck” Hamilton (builder) into the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame.
The Bears will now enjoy a brief holiday break. The club returns to action on Monday, December 26 as they visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center in Allentown.
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Photo by Kyle Mace
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