Bears Rewind: Not so Sweet

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Posted October 29, 2015

Chocolate town is not looking so sweet in their opening few weeks. Let’s recap the start to the Hershey Bears season:

WEEK 1
In a 5-1 rout, the Bears opened the season in style with goals from Carter Camper, Riley Barber (2), Connor Carrick, and Chris Bourque to defeat the Springfield Falcons. Dan Ellis made 19 saves on 20 shots and the Hershey power play went 2-for-4. With a secondary assist on Barber’s first goal, Bourque scored his 500th AHL point, only the seventh US-born player and 89th in AHL history to do so.

Sean Collins, after two games with the Washington Capitals, returned to Hershey as Chandler Stephenson received his first NHL call-up. Stephenson now wears #18 for the Caps.

WEEK 2
Portland proved stingier than Springfield, taking both games in a back-to-back series. After Dustin Gazley’s shorthanded goal in the first, the Pirates turned to Logan Shaw to save the game. He scored twice in the second period to open the second period and the Bears never lead again. Jakub Vrana scored on the power play to tie the game, but Wade Megan scored the final goal with 1:07 left in the second. Justin Peters took the loss here, making 21 saves on 24 shots.

Rob Schremp and Kyle Rau each scored twice on Ellis as part of the Pirates 5-2 win over the Bears. Paul Carey and Riley Barber netted tallies late, but it was not enough to spark a rally.

WEEK 3
Hershey finished off their season-opening road trip in dramatic fashion, beating the Utica Comets 1-0 off Captain Garrett Mitchell’s first goal of the season with 1:11 left to play in regulation. Peters stopped all 19 shots he faced as Mitchell’s late goal would be all for the scoring.

On a night where long-time team president and general manager Doug Yingst announced his planned retirement at the end of this season, GIANT Center saw another Hershey staple return home triumphantly.

The Hartford Wolf Pack scored first on Jayson Megna’s odd-man rush goal off Brian Gibbons’ pass. Under four minutes later, Ryan Stanton tied the game for the Bears. Travis Boyd gave Hershey its first lead on the power play with a slap shot from the right-circle at 2:17 of the third. Shawn O’Donnell tied the game 87 seconds later and 3-on-3 overtime was needed to decided this one. On the Bears power play, Chris Bourque fired home the decisive shot and the Bears won 3-2. Dan Ellis made 22 saves on the night.

The rematch was equally well-contested, requiring a shootout after Jakub Vrana scored with 12.1 seconds left to force overtime. Madison Bowey scored mid-first period to tie the game after Nick Tarnasky scored his first of two on the night for Hartford. Brian Gibbons and Marek Hrivik scored for Hartford while only Bourque could beat goaltender Jeff Malcolm.

CURRENT STANDING

5th in the Atlantic Division, 3-2-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 7 Points.