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Bears Week 20 Recap: Phantoms

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Posted March 5, 2018

Tyler Graovac (Cory Lyons)

Once again, the Hershey Bears are buried in last place of the Atlantic Division. With 16 games left to play in the season, Hershey is staring at its first early summer since 2014 when they missed by two points. From that team, only Garrett Mitchell and Nathan Walker remain with this year’s squad.

The Bears are playing every game with the understanding that every loss is another blow to their limited hopes to make the playoffs.

Hershey and Lehigh Valley have played instant classics before, but their bout at the PPL Center on Friday night was reminiscent of an offensive onslaught from the 1980s. All four goalies played, 14 players did not score points, and 13 goals went in during the 7-6 Phantoms win.

Hershey tallied four times in the first to chase Lehigh Valley starter John Muse, then put another one past Dustin Tokarski. The Phantoms returned service in the second, chasing Vitek Vanecek after the team’s fifth goal.

Bears Media Relations intern Matt Trust called play-by-play of the second period of this contest, getting four Phantoms goals and one Bears goal to call. He also called a check to the head of Connor Hobbs by Nicolas Aube-Kubel. The AHL suspended Aube-Kubel for two games after the hit.

Aube-Kubel only served a two-minute minor for the hit, then scored two goals, including the game-winner.

The next night, an angry Bears team got a much-needed shutout win over the Utica Comets. Pheonix Copley stopped 24 shots, Chris Bourque got his first goal since returning from the Olympics in the 3-0 victory.

Andrew Cherniwchan, the South Carolina Stingrays skater up with the Comets on a PTO since December, tangled with Dustin Gazley near the end of the game and with the result well in hand.

In front of a packed house Sunday, the Bears could not exact revenge on the Phantoms in a 3-2 shootout loss. The starters — Muse and Copley — finished this game.

To end the first period, Tyler Lewington picked his eighth fight of the year against T.J. Brennan. Lewington is two fights away from triggering automatic suspensions.

On Wayne Simpson’s 12th goal of the year, Tim McGauley got his first AHL point with a primary assist.

The shootout has not been kind to Hershey this season. Following this loss, they are 2-5 in the skills competition.

NEXT WEEK

The Chocolate and White are off to upstate New York to face the Syracuse Crunch and Binghamton Senators. They will return home on Sunday to face the Grand Rapids Griffins to end the three-in-three.

CURRENT STANDING

8th in Atlantic Division, 24-27-4-5 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 0.475 points percentage, 57 points

Bears Fall In Shootout, 3-2 (Photos)

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