Bears Week 13 Recap: Vane-Checkered And Copped Out

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Posted January 8, 2018

(Cory Lyons)

New Year, new Bears? At least, that is what it seems.

With solid goaltending from Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley, the Hershey Bears swept the weekend series with the Charlotte Checkers to open 2018. They will meet again in early February as part of their eight-game season series.

Around 8,000 people packed the GIANT Center for each contest, and the Bears rewarded their home fans with wins. Copley made 32 saves in a 5-1 win on Saturday, and Vanecek made 29 in a 3-0 shutout the next day.

The Bears pitched in up front and on defense. The Checkers went zero-for-eight on the power-play, including an empty-handed five-on-three on Sunday.

On Saturday, Hershey piled five unanswered to cancel out Jake Chelios’s tally — the only Checkers goal all weekend. John Albert, Colby Williams, and Zach Sill all scored their third goals of the season as part of the win.

Wayne Simpson scored into an empty net with four minutes and one second left in the game, one of the earliest empty netters this season.

Riley Barber scored the game-winner on Sunday 85 seconds into the game. This was the end of the line for Charlotte. Tyler Graovac and Travis Boyd found their way to the goal column.

Vanecek provided the best performance of Star Wars Night, no force levitation required. Him and Copley both earned first star honors in their starts.

Hershey still had three periods of fewer than ten shots, including two (first period Saturday, second period Sunday) with only three.

Their specialty jerseys sold big at the post-game auction, with Vanecek’s jersey fetching $2,350. Of active players, only John Albert’s sweater went for under $1,000 (still sold for $950). The money is raised to benefit Ronald McDonald house.

NEXT WEEK

More Atlantic division opponents await for the Bears. They host Springfield on Wednesday, and travel to Lehigh Valley on Saturday before returning favor on Sunday.

CURRENT STANDING

6th Atlantic, 17-16-1-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .514 points percentage, 38 points

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