Bears Defeat Griffins At Home For The First Time Ever

Posted January 5, 2019

Barber scores twice, Vanecek with 35 saves in Hershey’s 6-4 victory over Grand Rapids.  First ever home victory over the Griffins. Photo courtesy of Just Sports Photography.


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The Hershey Bears (14-18-0-2) welcome the Grand Rapids Griffins (19-11-3-3) for the first and only time to Hershey this season.  This will be the 10th time these two teams have ever faced one another.  The Griffins are 8-1-0 all time vs. the Bears with their last game being on October 12th in Grand Rapids.  Detroit Redwings prospect, Filip Zadina scored twice in the 6-3 victory over Hershey but he will not be in attendance tonight because he is returning home after playing for the Czech Republic  in the World Junior Classic.

Vitek Vanecek and honored this week by becoming Hershey’s representative in this years AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield.  This will be Vanecek’s first game ever against Grand Rapids after being called the starter earlier Saturday evening.


1st Period:

Grand Rapids came out early, throwing every puck on net.  At one point, the Griffins were leading in shots 8-2 with twelve minutes left in the period.  Hershey found some relief when Garrett Pilon found Juuso Ikonen open down the ice.  Ikonen waited for Brian Pinho to hustle down to help and it paid off.  Pinho took the pass from Ikonen and fired it up high, beating Griffin’s goaltender Harri Sateri to give Hershey a 1-0 lead.


Just over two minutes later, the puck was dropped to the right of Sateri.  Mike Sgarbossa won the draw to Aaron Ness.  Ness shot the puck from the point and the puck was deflected in the high slot by Riley Barber and into the net.  It was not a fast tip but Sateri lost sight of the puck and it rolled past him.  This gave Hershey a 2-0 lead.

Grand Rapids answered quickly after that.  Matt Puempel made a blind pass from the corner of the rink that flew across the crease of Vitek Vanecek and found Wade Megan open for the one timer.  There was no way for Vanecek to make the save.  The play was reviewed for potential goaltender interference but was called a good goal.  This cut the lead for Hershey to 2-1.

Hershey fought to get their lead back late in the first period.  Beck Malenstyn worked the boards well, protecting the puck.  His pass found Garret Pilon who cut behind the net.  Pilon found Shane Gersich alone in front of Harri Sateri.  Gersich put the puck in the top corner of the net, giving Hershey a 3-1 lead going into intermission.


1st Period Shots: HER – 12, GR – 12


1st Period Score:

8:55 – HERBrian Pinho(2) ASST: Juuso Ikonen(6), Garrett Pilon(10)

11:01 – HERRiley Barber(12) ASST: Aaron Ness(18), Mike Sgarbossa(11)

12:37 – GRWade Megan(4) ASST: Matt Puempel(14), Colin Campbell(6)

15:14 – HERShane Gersich(4) ASST: Garrett Pilon(11), Beck Malenstyn(2)


2nd Period:

Penalties were the theme in the second period, mostly in the favor of Grand Rapids.  Hershey spent eleven minutes in the box but survived each one.  The Griffins hit the post for the second time but the game was still a 3-1 for Hershey going into the locker room.


2nd Period Shots: HER – 6, GR – 14


2nd Period Scoring:



3rd Period:

Hershey opened the period with a rocket of a shot from Aaron Ness.  Riley Barber did a give a go play then Ness shot the puck over the top glove of Harri Sateri. Hershey took the 4-1 lead.

Riley Barber scored on the power play half way through the period.  It was originally called off of the post during the power play but was later reviewed and credited to Barber.  The Bears took a 5-1 lead.

Grand Rapids captain Matthew Ford sprinted down the ice, making a nice move around the Bears defender and scored a nice goal while falling.  The puck went right over Vitek Vanecek’s shoulder.  Grand Rapids cut the lead down to 5-2.

Minutes later, Ryan Sproul got his pay back on his former team.  Sproul blasted home a home timer.  The assists went to Colby Williams and Riley Barber.  This was Sproul’s third goal of the season since joining the team.  Hershey took a 6-2 lead.

Chris Terry scored his 22nd goal of the season when he caught Vitek Vanecek out of position and the Bears sprawling to find the puck.  The lead was cut down to 3 with the Bears leading 6-3.

Grand Rapids added one more to the score sheet but too late to make a come back.  Matt Puempel added his 14th of the season.

The Hershey Bears defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-4.


3rd Period Shots: HER – 12, GR – 13

Overall Shots: HER – 31, GR – 39


3rd Period Scoring:

1:50 – HERAaron Ness(3) ASST: Riley Barber(14), Nathan Walker(6)

7:05 – HERRiley Barber(13) ASST: Mike Sgarbossa(12), Aaron Ness(19)(PP)

7:37 – GRMatthew Ford(8) ASST: Trevor Hamilton(1), Libor Sulak(7)

9:41 – HERRyan Sproul(3) ASST: Colby Williams(10), Riley Barber(15)(PP)

14:13 – GRChris Terry(22) ASST: Jake Chelios(7), Wade Megan(6)

19:21 – GRMatt Puempel(14) ASST: Trevor Hamilton(2), Joe Hicketts(9)


Three Stars:

  1. HER – Riley Barber (2 goals, 2 assists)
  2. HER – Garrett Pilon (2 assists)
  3. HER – Aaron Ness (1 goal, 1 assist)


Official Box Score:


All photos in this post are courtesy of Just Sports Photography.