Ness Gets 50th Assist As Bears Win 4-1 Over Utica

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Posted April 13, 2019

Aaron Ness picks up his 50th assist (1st time in his career) while Vitek Vanecek makes 31 saves in Hershey’s 4-1 victory over Utica.

 

Follow Cory Lyons on Twitter @CoryLyonsAHL for live game updates of the Hershey Bears.

 

 

The Hershey Bears (41-25-3-4) host the Utica Comets (33-33-6-2) at the Giant Center for the final Saturday contest of the regular season.  As of now, Hershey sits 3 points back of Bridgeport in the Atlantic Division.  Hershey has two games remaining (included tonight) while Bridgeport only has one remaining.

 

Playoff  Scenarios:

Hershey has already clinched a playoff spot but where they land in the standings are still up for grabs.  The playoff opponent will be the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and here is how home ice will be determined:

If Bridgeport gets 1 point in the standings (just getting to overtime), Bridgeport will clinch the second spot in the Atlantic Division and have home ice for the first round.

If Bridgeport loses in regulation AND Hershey wins their final two games, the Bears will jump the Sound Tigers and take over second play in the Atlantic, giving them home ice for the first round.

 

1st Period:

Both teams are starting some young players, either from college or the ECHL, one of them being goaltender Ty Reichenbach for Utica.  Nathan Walker took advantage of the experience in net and wanted to test him early.

When entering the zone, Walker skated to the corner and threw the puck into the crease.  The puck went off of Reichenbach’s stick and through his legs.  This was Walker’s 17th goal of the season that gave Hershey a 1-0 lead.

 

1st Period Shots: HER – 10, UTI – 9

 

1st Period Scoring:

14:32 – HERNathan Walker(17) ASST: Lucas Johansen(11), Devante Smith-Pelly(8)

 

2nd Period:

Utica got the scoring started in the second period.  After a battle behind the net, Kole Lind found himself with space in front of the net.  Turning the corner, Lind fired the puck over Vitek Vanecek’s shoulder on the far side.  The puck hit the post and into the net.  This tied the game 1-1.

 

With Hershey on the power play, they took no time to score and retake the lead.  Jayson Megna camped in front of Ty Reichenbach looking for a tip.  Mike Sgarbossa threaded the puck through the defense and hit Megna right on the stick and into the net.  This was Megna’s 20th goal of the season with Sgarbossa’s 35th assist and Aaron Ness’s 49th assist of the season.  The score was 2-1.

Photo courtesy of Cory Lyons.

 

2nd Period Shots: HER – 9, UTI – 15

 

2nd Period Scoring:

6:48 – UTIKole Lind(5) ASST: Cam Darcy(13)

8:03 – HERJayson Megna(20) ASST: Mike Sgarbossa(35), Aaron Ness(49)(PP)

 

3rd Period:

Half way through the third period, Aaron Ness went into beast mode, make everyone else around him a spectator.  After getting Reichenbach out of position, Ness passed the puck through the crease and found Shane Gersich all alone.  Gersich scored his 8th goal of the season and Ness reached the 50 assist club for the first time of his career.  Recently signed Chris McCarthy picked up his first point as a Bear as well.  3-1 Hershey with half a period to play.

 

Things got a little testy with five minutes remaining.

 

The Bears finished off the game with an empty net goal.  Lucas Johansen shot the puck from the defensive zone.  This was just Johansen’s third goal of the season.

 

Hershey won 4-1!

 

3rd Period Shots: HER – 7, UTI – 8

Overall Shots: HER – 26, UTI – 32

 

3rd Period Scoring:

10:44 – HERShane Gersich(8) ASST: Aaron Ness(50), Chris McCarthy(1)

19:24 – HERLucas Johansen(3) ASST: None(EN)

 

Three Stars:

  1. HER: Vitek Vanecek – 31 Saves, Win
  2. HER: Aaron Ness – 2 Assists
  3. HER: Jayson Megna – GWG

 

Official Box Score: https://theahl.com/stats/game-summary/1019470

 

All photos in this post are courtesy of Cory Lyons.  You can follow him on Twitter @CoryLyonsAHL or on Instagram @corylyonsphoto.