Bears Week 11 Recap: Ending on a High Note

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Posted December 22, 2015

(via the Bears)

In their final three games before the Christmas break, the Hershey Bears found themselves staying idle in the tight Atlantic Division. To start, Aaron Ness returned from his short stint with Washington so Connor Carrick could head to Washington on his first call-up since 2013. Austin Fyten was also returned to South Carolina where he has already played 11 games.

Scoring was a plenty in Allentown as the Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms combined for 10 goals on the night. Samuel Morin opened the scoring for Lehigh Valley, which was followed by three straight Bears goals from Paul Carey, Carter Camper (PP), and Chris Bourque. Taylor Leier tallied a late power play strike to pull the Phantoms within one at the first intermission.

Liam O’Brien took a major for fighting and a match penalty for a check to the head at 5:04 of the second period. Over the balance of the five minute power play, Nick Cousins and Maxim Lamarche scored to retake the lead. Mark Alt and Cole Bardreau scored in the third to secure the victory for Lehigh Valley; Travis Boyd added a last minute goal to end the game 6-4. Justin Peters made 30 saves in the loss.

With O’Brien suspended for the game, the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies visited GIANT Center. Despite  Ness starting the scoring with his first goal of the season, Mark Arcobello took advantage of the 5-on-3 to get his 12th of the season. The first ten minutes of the second period opened with Zach Hyman scoring in 29 seconds. Brendan Leipsic and Stuart Percy scored with 80 seconds of each other to chase Dan Ellis from the crease. Carter Camper scored his fourth of the season to make the game competitive. Ray Emery, who was signed by the Marlies to a Professional Tryout Contract the day of the game, stopped 23 of 25 while T.J. Brennan scored twice in the third to finish the 6-2 game.

Chris Bourque played through only the first period before getting sandwiched by two Marlies and skating to the bench on his own power. Bourque returned very briefly in the second and went to the locker room for the remainder of the game. He sat out the next game against the Syracuse Crunch.

The Bears clearly missed their leading scorer on a night meant to honor legacy. In front of the Hershey Hall of Fame Class of 2015, the Crunch scored three power play goals on three opportunities. Tye McGinn scored on  Ness’s delay of game penalty while Adam Erne and McGinn scored on the Liam O’Brien checking from behind major. O’Brien was also assessed a game misconduct, the second time in two games played. Though the defense in front of him did not provide much support, Peters was pulled from the game after 17 minutes.

Ryan Stanton and Chadler Stephenson brought the game back within one in the second period. To start the third, Hershey found itself on an early power play. Instead of tying the game, Jeff Tambellini scored short handed on a 2-on-1 rush. After the Crunch goal, their offensive chances were limited in number and quality. Hershey managed to keep the puck in Syracuse’s zone on three consecutive clearing attempts. Sean Collins tipped the puck last after passing from Mike Moore and Nathan Walker got the puck to Adam Wilcox’s crease. Chandler Stephenson’s pass from behind the net to Christian Djoos at the blue line teed up the tying goal for th Bears. Collins scored again 25 seconds into overtime to end the week on a high note. Ellis stopped seven of eight shots in his 43 minutes of relief.

NEXT WEEK

After the league-wide Christmas break, the Bears begin a busy stretch to finish the month. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Binghamton will visit Chocolate Town on the 26th and 27th.

CURRENT STANDING

2nd in Atlantic Division, 15-8-1-5 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 36 points