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Bears Fall to Phantoms In Outdoor Classic, 5-2 (Photos)
A great atmosphere as over 13,000 people joined the live event at Hersheypark Stadium. To add to the specialness of everything, it happened to also be Chris Bourque‘s 700th AHL game.
Everyone had to wait an extra 10 minutes before the players made their way to the rink after a delay. After the delay, players made their way through the sparks and smoke to add to the environment.
Both teams came out with a lot of passion. Unfortunately for the Bears, it wasn’t enough. 2:59 into the first period, Colin McDonald gets one past Copley. Oskar Lindblom and Samuel Morin got the goal.
The scoring would continue for the Phantoms as a deflected puck went up into the air and Copley could not track it. It hit him in the shoulder, rolled down his back and into the net. At 8:28 into the first period, Alex Krushelnyski was credited with the goal and Radel Fazleev would get the assist.
Bears would get one power play but nothing really generated from it.
The Bears are playing a much more physical game than usual, which is creating excitement for large crowd in Hershey Park Stadium.
Shots: LV – 12, HER – 8
LV Goal: 2:59 – Colin McDonald (2), Assist(s): Oskar Lindblom (16), Samuel Morin (6)
LV Goal: 8:28 – Alex Krushelnyski (2), Assist(s): Radel Fazleev (9)
The Phantoms came out flying. The possession of the puck was held by Lehigh Valley for the first seven minutes of the game. Copley made save after save to keep them into the game.
Cole Bardreau of the Phantoms would take a interference penalty about half way through the period. Hershey would not crack entering the zone.
After the power play, Hershey would start putting more pressure on the puck carries of Lehigh Valley which caused more turnovers. This would start to change momentum towards the Bears favor.
At 16:54, Nathan Walker would score his first goal of the season. It was off of a rebound from Travis Boyd. The second assist would be from Aaron Ness.
As the crowd started to come back, Hershey would make that fatal mistake. Chris Conner would break free on a break away scoring an unassisted goal at 19:53.
When skating past Copley, Conner would say something that sparked a fire into Copley as he chased him down. It should make for an interesting third period.
HER Goal: 16:54 – Nathan Walker (1), Assist(s) – Travis Boyd (21), Aaron Ness (13)
LV Goal: 19:53 – Chris Conner (8), Assist(s) – None
Shots: LV – 16, HER – 15
The Hershey Bears decided to finally take control of the game. Quick plays along with tough hits. Alex Lyon (goaltender of the Phantoms) turned everything away. Other than the first goal he allowed, Lyon was stellar. His rebound control was incredible, especially for the conditions of playing outside.
Bears finally broke down Lyon and the Phantoms defense when Travis Boyd would wrist one home with 2:56 left in the game. Assists went to Nathan Walker and Chris Bourque.
Phantoms shut down the idea of a come back very quickly as T.J. Brennen would score an open net, off of a face off, from his own zone. The puck would travel 200 feet down to the other end, sending the fans home.
Lehigh Valley would add one more for insurance when Chris Conner would add another goal to his total on the empty net.
3rd Period Scoring:
HER Goal: 17:04 – Travis Boyd (9), Assist(s) – Nathan Walker (4), Chris Bourque (30)
LV Goal: 18:21 – T.J. Brennen (8), Assist(s) – Mike Vecchione (17) (EN)
LV Goal: 19:22 – Chris Connor (9), Assist(s) – Cole Bardreau (5), Phil Varone (31) (EN)
Final Score: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5 – Hershey Bears 2
- LV – Alex Lyon – 41 Saves
- LV – Chris Connor – 2 Goals
- HER – Nathan Walker – 1 Goal, 1 Assist