(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Bears Top Hartford, 4-2
Coming off of an overtime loss to the WBS Penguins, the Hershey Bears faced the Hartford Wolfpack at Giant Center Saturday night. The Bears are in a tight race for a playoff spot, and at this point in the season, they are on the outside looking in. With tonight’s 4-2 win, they have picked up two important points.
Before we talk about the game, stick taps need to be given to the Giant Center crew that made a quick change over from a high school wrestling this morning so the game could go on as scheduled tonight.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) February 11, 2017
— Zack Fisch (@zackfisch) February 11, 2017
Tonight the Bears saw the return of Riley Barber who missed 35 games due to injury this season. With Barber’s return tonight at Giant Center, one forward needed to be scratched tonight. Jakub Vrana would be a healthy scratch tonight which opened the door for Barber to get the start. In his postgame interview, Head Coach Troy Mann discussed Vrana’s play and that it has been “inconsistent, especially without the puck” since his return from his four week stint with the Caps. He also mentioned that Vrana needs to play “200 foot hockey” and he “needs to play in the d-zone”. Expect Vrana back in the lineup tomorrow against Bridgeport.
Barber did find his way onto the score sheet tonight in his return as he put the puck into an empty net late in the third. Hershey’s Travis Boyd, Christian Djoos and Paul Carey all tallied goals in the Bears win Saturday.
The Bears are on an eight game point streak and will look to continue the streak when they play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tomorrow in Bridgeport. Currently the Sound Tigers sit in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Mann does not feel that this a “do or die” situation since their are still five more meetings between the two clubs this season.
The Bears have a tough week on the road with games against the Providence Bruins, and Bridgeport next Sunday. In fact, four of the five games that remain between Bridgeport and Hershey are on Sound Tigers home ice (2/12, 2/19, 2/26 and 3/19).
Hershey goaltender Parker Milner got the start in net tonight. In his two starts for the Chocolate and White, Milner has come away with two victories. Milner improved to 3-0 as a Bear tonight. Mann expressed that Milner has “done his job” and will continue to get the starts once a week until he falters.