Bears Week 6 Recap: Bau Down

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Posted November 20, 2017

(Mathias Bau via @Sarah_Hobday)

At six-feet, seven inches, Mathias Bau is hard to miss. Yet, at 24-years-old, this is his first season in North America after 10 years in Danish and Swedish leagues. In 13 games with the Hershey Bears, he has five goals and two assists, with two goals and a helper coming this past Friday.

Bau was one of the most noticeable players in Hershey over their three games, as the Bears again won the week with two wins.

A penalty-filled contest with the Syracuse Crunch opened the week, and Hershey won 4-2 despite going zero-for-seven on the power play.

No scoring came in the first, but a roughing penalty on Zach Sill ended the period and set-up the Crunch for their first tally. Anthony Cirelli scored 43 seconds into the middle frame, his third of the season.

The remainder of the second saw a revolving door to the penalty box, but no additional goals. With two seconds left in a hooking penalty to Carter Verhaeghe, referees sent Syracuse’s Cory Conacher to the box for disputing a decision (it was not clear what decision he disputed), allowing the Bears close to four minutes on the man-advantage.

Minutes later, Reid McNeill and Mason Mitchell dropped gloves following McNeill’s hit on Garrett Mitchell. McNeill threw the first punch, but M. Mitchell backed him into the glass behind the Syracuse net to get him off balance. The fight was the first of Mitchell’s career.

Jeremy Langlois and Chris Bourque opened the third period with goals to give Hershey a quick lead. Langlois’s slapper careened in off Jamie McBain’s backside 27 seconds in, Bourque’s one-timer finished a pass through three sticks from Wayne Simpson.

Alexander Volkov breifly gave the Crunch a tie game once more, but Bourque but another one through from about hip-height as he swung at the puck with a forehand shot into the net.

Lucas Johansen iced the game with an empty-netter. Pheonix Copley stopped 20 shots on the way, Connor Ingram made 22 saves in the loss for Syracuse.

Copley started again Saturday in Providence, making his first start at Dunkin’ Donuts Center since his injury in game five of last year’s conference semifinals. He made 31 saves on 32 shots, with Bau and the offense leading the way to a 4-1 win.

Riley Barber put up the lone power-play goal of the game about two-and-a-half minutes in. He then assisted on Bau’s goal three minutes later to make the game 2-0 early. For both, it was their fourth goals of the season.

Bau added another, his first multi-goal game with the Bears, halfway through the second. Anthony Peluso, late in his shift, took the puck into the offensive zone to allow his linemates to change. He fed a streaking Bau up the middle, who scored before Peluso could complete the line change.

Justn Hickman scored his first of the season, and the only goal of the night for Providence, to open the third period.

To close the third, Tyler Graovac — in Hershey on a long-term conditioning loan from Washington — spun around to find Bau for the hat trick. With time running out and Bau not near the play, Graovac opted for the shot and the empty-net goal.

After Zane McIntyre’s performance on Friday, Providence head coach Jay Leach opted to start Jordan Binnington. The goalie, on loan from the St. Louis Blues, made 17 saves on 18 shots for the return favor game. Providence won 4-1 over Hershey.

After Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Liam O’Brien traded goals in the first period, the offense was decidedly in Providence’s favor the rest of the night.

Colby Cave, Austin Czarnik, and Colton Hargrove pierced Copley for goals in the weekend finale. Copley faced 20 shots total, never more than seven in a period, in a low-offense night for both sides.

NEXT WEEK

Thanksgiving week has the Bears bouncing around for their three games. After a home matchup with Springfield Wednesday night, the Bears are off until they travel to Hartford on Saturday night. Under 24 hours later, they will play Bridgeport at home Sunday. Bridgeport is on the last leg of a three-in-three for that game.

CURRENT STANDING

6th Atlantic Division, 8-8-0-2 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .500 points percentage