Bears Week 19 Recap: On the Verge

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Posted February 15, 2016

Jakub Vrana (via the Bears)

13 consecutive games with at least one point have placed the Hershey Bears within striking distance of division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Atlantic. The Bears also sit seven clear of third-place Portland and eight ahead of both Providence and Bridgeport.

Speaking of the Sound Tigers, they finally made their way down to Chocolate Town to play the make-up game against the Bears. Everyone who held on to their tickets and still made it to GIANT Center was treated to a 13-goal shootout loss for the hometown team.

Goals from Connor Carrick and Jakub Vrana sandwhiched Sound Tigers goals from Kevin Czuczman and the penalty shot tally from Colin Markison to end the first period. Although Bracken Kearns scored his 17th of the season 10 seconds into the second period, Travis Boyd, Zach Sill, and Riely Barber scored consecutively to chase Bridgeport starter Christopher Gibson.

Kearns would score shorthanded at 6:50 for his 18th to keep the Tigers within striking distance. Vrana’s second of the night at 1:54 of the third almost put the game out of reach, but Scott Mayfield scored to keep the difference at one.

In an odd turn of events, Andrew Rowe, captain of the Hershey Bears’ ECHL affiliate in South Carolina, scored the tying goal with less than two minutes to go in regulation. Rowe is under contract with Bridgeport, but has been loaned back to the Stingrays on multiple occasions this season.

After an overtime that featured three peanlties, the teams needed a shootout to decide a winner. Rowe scored the lone goal past Justin Peters for Bridgeport to walk away winner 7-6. Scott Gomez assisted on of the Bears’ six goals.

The Providence Bruins, riding a point streak of their own, hosted the Bears Friday night. The Bruins did the honors of breaking the Bears 13-game streak.

It started well enough for the Chocolate and White, with Chandler Stpehenson scoring less than three minutes into the game. Tommy Cross canceled out the Stephenson marker four minutes later and Andrew Cherniwchan gave Providence a lead they would not relinquish at 16:38.

Seth Griffith combined with Matt Irwin and Frank Vatrano for the only goal of the second period. Ben Youds hit the twine on a carry over power play 36 seconds into the third and Vatrano also beat Dan Ellis with the man-advantage late. Gomez made the most of a Bears power play in the final two minutes with his fourth AHL goal.

A quick trip up to Springfield, MA awaited the Bears for a date with the Falcons on Saturday. All the regulation scoring came at the same end of the ice for both teams en route to a 4-3 Bears shootout win.

Laurent Dauphin and Greg Carey tallied on the power play for the hosts in period one and Riley Barber, Travis Boyd, and Chris Bourque (PP) responded in the second. Phillip Samulesson’s late tally pushed the game to overtime, but did not feature a regular winner. Connor Carrick and Christian Djoos scored the only goals of the shootout as Peters improved to 12-6-6 on the year.

NEXT WEEK

The fourth-place Providence Bruins come to GIANT Center for a weekend series against the Bears. Saturday’s game is at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s matinee starts at 5 p.m.

CURRENT STANDING

52 games played, 28-14-3-7 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 66 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division

We would like to wish all our fans a Happy Valentine's Day!! #valentinesday #hbh

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