Bears End Slump, Defeat Checkers In Shootout, 6-5 (Photos)

Posted February 4, 2018

The Hershey Bears came into this game on a nine game losing streak.  During this time, the Bears only scored 13 times while allowing 32 goals.  It also just so happens the last time the Bears won a game, it was against their foes for this evening, the Charlotte Checkers.

1st Period:

The Hershey Bears are starting to slide down the standings and the players knew it is time to throw it all out on the line and either fight for the season or start to pack it in and from the puck drop, it seemed like the players decided to put up a fight.

Only 49 seconds into the period, Nathan Walker scored his third goal of the season.  The play was set up from a beauty of a pass from John Albert.  Lucas Johansen has the secondary assist.

Riley Barber

This created a buzz in the stadium that has not been felt for awhile.  With the crowd into the game, Hershey started to gain the early momentum.

Vitek Vanecek was in net for the Bears and in the first period, he was stellar.  Stopping all 7 shots coming his way and not one of them was easy.

Things got testy mid way through the period as Connor Hobbs got into a fight after a big hit from Brenden Kichton.

Riley Barber would put one in the back of the net with 1:48 left in the first.  This was a power play goal which was set up from a great play off the stick of Travis Boyd and Nathan Walker.

1st Period Shots: CHA – 7, HER – 12

1st Period Scoring:

HER Goal: 0:49 – Nathan Walker (3), Assist(s): John Albert (8), Lucas Johansen (12)

HER Goal: 18:12 – Riley Barber (14), Assist(s): Travis Boyd (23), Nathan Walker (5) (PP)


2nd Period:

Hershey would come out a little shaky.  Maybe they wanted to protect their lead or maybe they were tired from Connor Hobbs getting his 10 minute misconduct.

Luck would be on the Bears side however as Garrett Mitchell would score off of a weak slap shot that went through the Jeremy Smith’s legs and in the back of the net.  This goal would be a big contributor as the game went along.

The Checkers started to slowly come back, taking advantage of the long change in the second period.  Roland McKeown would put one home off of a back door feed from Lucas Wallmark.

Exactly three minutes later, Trevor Carrick would blast one home off a face off from the point.  This was a power play goal and the power play only lasted 3 seconds.

Four minutes after this, the Bears got caught on a long shift and couldn’t seem to get off the rink.  After a failed clear of the puck and scrambling to catch a break, the Checkers would capitalize.

Lucas Wallmark would throw one on net from the slot and it found its was home, deflating the crowd’s excitement and turning it into anger.

This goal did not come without controversy.  It seemed like the Checkers were offside on the play, which upon review they were.  But unfortunately for the Bears, that is not reviewable in the AHL like it would be in the NHL.  So the goal counts and it was time to move on.

The captain of the Bears, Garrett Mitchell knew something had to be done and he needed to get the crowd back.  That is when he fought Clark Bishop.  Another fight broke out after theirs with Mason Mitchell and Trevor Carrick.  They would both get tossed from the game with a secondary altercation penalty.

Mason Mitchell’s Fight

The Bears would go back onto the power play and it would be successful as Riley Barber scored his second goal of the game, scoring short side on Jeremy Smith.

Before the goal was even announced, the checkers respond.  Julien Gauthier would cash one home on a third rebound attempt that caught Vanecek out of position.

Hershey would go into the locker room, being outplayed for 20 minutes and needing an answer.

2nd Period Shots: CHA – 17, HER – 3

2nd Period Scoring:

HER Goal: 4:15 – Garrett Mitchell (6), Assist(s): Zach Sill (9), Lucas Johansen (13)

CHA Goal: 7:47 – Roland McKeown (4), Assist(s): Lucas Wallmark (18), Valentin Zykov (11)

CHA Goal: 10:47 – Trevor Carrick (4), Assist(s): Andrew Poturalski (16) (PP)

CHA Goal: 14:54 – Lucas Wallmark (11), Assist(s): Warren Foegele (13), Josiah Didier (3)

HER Goal: 18:42 – Riley Barber (15), Assist(s): Chris Bourque (32), Travis Boyd (24) (PP)

CHA Goal: 19:01 – Julien Gauthier (9), Assist(s): Janne Koukkanen (14), Aleksi Saarela (7)


3rd Period:

Jeremy Smith wouldn’t return to the ice to start the third as Alex Nedelijkovic would take his position in net.

Half way through he period, Charlotte would bang home a pretty tic tack toe play.  Aleksi Saarela would be the the closer on the deal, scoring his 15 goal of the year.

Garrett Mitchell celebrates his goal.

Hershey needed an answer and the power play turned one in for the third time tonight.  Travis Boyd would wrist one past Nedelijkovic short side with 3:48 left in the period.  The goal doesn’t happen without the screen set up by Nathan Walker.

3rd Period Shots: CHA – 10, HER – 6

3rd Period Scoring:

CHA Goal: 10:43 – Aleksi Saarela (15), Assist(s): Janne Kuokkanen (15), Patrick Brown (13)

HER Goal: 16:12 – Travis Boyd (10), Assists(s): Connor Hobbs (5), Chris Bourque (33) (PP)



In overtime, neither team capitalized on power play chances and the game would go into a shoot out.  Vitek Vanecek would allow a goal on the first shot but become a brick wall after that.

Chris Bourque’s attempt was called no goal but with further review, hit the back bar and corrected by the officials.

The shootout would go five round when Travis Boyd would turn into the hero once again.

Overtime Shots: CHA – 0, HER – 2

Total Shots: CHA – 34, HER – 24

Three Stars:

  1. HER – Travis Boyd – 1 goal (GTG), 2 assists
  2. HER – Riley Barber – 2 goals
  3. HER – Vitek Vanecek – 29 saves on 34 shots.