Bears Week 22 Recap: Needing Luck

Posted March 18, 2018

Madison Bowey (Cory Lyons)

A critical week for the Bears ended on a thud. In need of wins in their last three-in-three of the year, Hershey came away with four of a possible six points.

Following the weekend’s action, the Bears are 17 points behind Charlotte for the last spot in the Atlantic Division. They have 20 points left that they can gain, and they play Charlotte twice in three weeks.

The week started with great news: Madison Bowey returned to Hershey from his extended stay with Washington. Since Bowey is still exempt from waivers, and the Capitals got two defenders at the trade deadline, he was the odd one out on the roster.

Bowey welcomed himself back to the lineup with a primary assist on the game-tying goal by Liam O’Brien against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Bears mounted a furious third period comeback to overcome a team they are chasing in the standings and win 3-2.

On recall from South Carolina, Hampus Gustaffson got his first AHL goal in the same game. Anthony Peluso fired home the game-winner on a pass from Gustafsson, his first multi-point game.

Pheonix Copley 26 saves for the win, and Tyler Lewington made the league take a review of his roughing penalty in the first with a punch to one of the Sound Tigers. The league did suspend him for two games, but that decision came Sunday.

Vitek Vanecek made 22 saves to help Hershey take down the Springfield Thunderbirds the next night. The Bears have not lost on St. Patrick’s Day since a shootout loss to Binghamton in 2006.

Skipping over Anthony Greco’s first period goal for the visitors, the second period was a wild affair. Nathan Walker finished his shift to open the period with a goal, to be followed by Dryden Hunt giving Springfield the lead back two minutes later. Between those two, Alexandre Grenier missed on a penalty shot.

Dustin Gazley would score shorthanded and Walker got another to go for a lead Hershey would not give up. Then Chris Bourque got nabbed for a boarding major and a game misconduct. Greco got a penalty for disputing a referee’s decision, and the Bears did not get a goal. That was just the second.

Wayne Simpson would salt the game away with a goal off a faceoff win by Tyler Graovac. Lucas Johansen passed to O’Brien along the wall, who found an open Simpson to blast the Bears to a 4-2 win.

The Bears chased Anthony Peters on their first three shots of the contest against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. O’Brien and Joe Whitney scored on the second and third of their seven shots in the first period. Yet somehow, someway, the Penguins again found a way to win in Mohegan Sun Arena, coming away with a 6-4 victory.

Eitenne Marcoux, on a professional tryout with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, finished the game for the Penguins. This marked the Indy Fuel goalie’s AHL debut despite being on four team’s roster in prior seasons. He was on PTOs with Rockford, Laval, and Springfield earlier this year as a backup. He played no games for the Norfolk Admirals in 2014-15, his first pro season, before attending the University of New Brunswick. He got quick help from Joseph Cramarossa  to get the Penguins on the board.

Jonas Siegenthaler rudely welcomed him to the American league with a bar-down goal to restore the two-goal edge.

Tom Sestito pulled WB/S within one and Thomas DiPauli beat the second period buzzer, echoing the efforts of many schools on the hardwood in this March. With 0.1 seconds left in the frame, his floater hit the netting as the green and red light came on simultaneously. The Bears would not recover.

O’Brien and Jarred Tinordi faced off at the open of the third period. O’Brien absorbed a heavy beating from Tinordi’s kidney shots, but kept his balance until the only good right shot to his helmet.

The Penguins took the fight win and Christian Thomas poked at a loose puck to get the lead. DiPauli would get another through Copley’s legs to make it two goals.

On a four-on-four late, Siegenthaler toe-picked trying to shoot. As Jarrett Burton swiped at the puck to send it out, Siegenthaler got back to his feet and shot again. He scored his second on Marcoux to bring it back within striking distance for Hershey.

Minutes later, Teddy Blueger burned the Bears on a three-on-one after a minute-plus shift by the Bears in the Penguins’ zone. After being unable to score with the extra attacker, Bourque fired the puck down the ice after the final horn. A display of frustration for a team staring elimination in the face.


Just two contests sit in front of the Bears this weekend, both against the Hartford Wolf Pack. They will faceoff at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in Connecticut, followed by a 5:00 p.m. puck drop from Hershey on Sunday.


7th in Atlantic Division, 27-30-4-5 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 0.477 points percentage, 63 points

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