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Bears Week 2 Recap: Unsavory
The Hershey Bears are not a franchise used to starting a season 0-3, but that is where the 2017-18 team finds itself.
Following a dud on the road against Lehigh Valley, Hershey opened GIANT Center to welcome fans celebrating the 80th anniversary of the 11-time Calder Cup champions. Hershey lost both home matchups, to the Bellville Senators and the same Phantoms from last week.
Bellville dug itself out of an early hole to win the Bears home opener 5-2. Chandler Stephenson and Chris Bourque scored the tallies for the home side.
The Senators’ took their 100th penalty minute this season in the opening five minutes, followed by another minor to set up the Stephenson’s second of the season. He buried a rebound from a Lucas Johansen slap shot, marking the rookie’s first professional point.
Hershey would go zero-for-six the rest of the night on the power play.
Ethan Werek gave Bellville the lead with a goal off a funny bounce to end the first and a skate deflection to open the second period.
Bourque looked more like Alex Ovechkin when he scored off a faceoff win from Travis Boyd for his first this year and 180th with the Bears.
Gabriel Gagne went the other way to give Bellville a lead they would not relinquish on a half-slap-shot off the rush.
Jack Rodewald and Chris DiDomenico, into an empty net, put in third period tallies for the 5-2 scoreline.
Parker Milner made 30 saves on 34 shots for the Bears, Danny Taylor stopped 17 of 19 for the Senators.
T.J Brennan missed the contest between his Phantoms and the Bears the next night, sitting out due to a suspension. The Bears got their first point of the season, but Lehigh Valley escaped GIANT Center with a shootout win, 4-3.
Bourque started the night with his second of the year in the second period. With plenty of ice in front of him on the power play, Bourque blew a slap shot through the legs of Alex Lyon.
The floodgates opened for the final 20 minutes, with five goals scored between the teams. Philippe Myers, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Danick Martel scored for Lehigh Valley in a four-minute span to take a 3-1 lead.
Jonas Siegenthaler followed Martel’s goal 18 seconds later, stepping into a loose puck to find the top-right corner of the net. Siegenthaler now has two AHL points, with his first assist coming on an Erik Burgdoerfer goal in an 8-0 onslaught against Lehigh Valley on March 23, 2016.
A late Hershey power play tied the game with 150 seconds before the regulation buzzer. Colby Williams potted his first of the season, driving a one-timer past Lyon’s outstretched arm.
Overtime saw nobody break the tie, and the shootout saw the first five shooters miss. Chris Conner slid the lone skills competition goal through Milner’s legs to get the extra point for Lehigh Valley.
Parker Milner made 26 saves on 29 shots for Hershey, and Lyon stopped 34 of 37 for Lehigh Valley.
Hershey will visit the Milwaukee Admirals for a 8:00 p.m. start Eastern Time Friday night, then will see the reigning-Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins the next night at 7 p.m.