Bears Week 17 Recap: Crunch Time

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Posted February 1, 2016

via the Bears

The Hershey Bears extended their point streak to nine consecutive games (5-0-2-1) with back-to-back wins over the Syracuse Crunch. With the wins, Hershey moves back into second place in the Atlantic Division at the All-Star Break.

On night one of the home-and-home series, the Crunch jumped out to a two-goal lead on the first two shots courtesy of Tanner Richard and Adam Erne. Travis Boyd scored on the man-advantage to halve the lead before the intermission and Liam O’Brien’s relentless forecheck became a backhand wraparound goal 61 seconds into the middle period. Connor Carrick forced another giveaway to set up Garrett Mitchell and the Bears had their first lead of the night.

Despite Yanni Gourde’s shorthanded goal, the Bears continued to battle. Christian Djoos put Crunch goaltender Adam Wilcox in his cross-hairs for a blistering slapshot during four-on-four play.
Dustin Gazley tipped the puck’s trajectory enough to regain the Bears lead for good. Sean Collins netted his 10th of the season into the empty net late and the Bears walked away 5-3 winners. Justin Peters made 34 saves for his 10th win this season.

Dan Ellis returned to the blue paint and faced a total of 25 shots all game while the offense in front of him cruised to a 5-1 victory. Andrew Yogan, a new signee of the Crunch, put his second goal with the team behind Ellis about 16 minutes into the preliminary frame. In response, Nathan Walker put home his ninth to tie the game prior to intermission. From their, the Bears offense became unstoppable.

On 11 shots in the second, Carter Camper and Riley Barber extended the Bears lead to three. Barber again tallied early in the third on a carry over power-play for his tenth of the season. With the anticipating crowd of 10,964 behind him, the rookie sent his fifth shot on goal into the empty net to finish his hat trick. Ellis heads into the break with 14 wins to his credit.

NEXT WEEK

After Chris Bourque and Connor Carrick represent the Chocolate and White in the AHL All-Star Game, they will join their teammates in Binghamton on Friday night for a contest with the Senators. Saturday will see intra-state rival Lehigh Valley come back to GIANT Center while the Senators come to town on Sunday.

CURRENT STANDING

46 Games Played, 24-13-3-6 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 57 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division