HERSHEY, Pa. – Nicolas Deschamps set up three of the four unanswered goals scored by the Hershey Bears in a 4-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night, snapping a three-game home winless skid in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,995 fans at GIANT Center.
The Phantoms would open the scoring after two players worked hard to win a puck battle in the left corner. Kyle Flanagan would work the puck loose and spot Derek Mathers at the front of the net, and in one motion Mathers lifted the puck past David Leggio at 10:18.
Hershey would finally solve Phantoms backstop Cal Heeter on the last of 12 first-period shots. While the Bears’ second power play was ticking down, Jeff Taffe spotted Brandon Segal backing into the slot. Segal grabbed the pass and ripped a wrist shot into the upper-left corner one second after the man advantage expired and with two seconds left in the period.
Ryan Stoa then scored the eventual game-winner at the 4:44 mark of the middle frame. Deschamps would collect a pass from Patrick Wellar and from the left corner, attempted a shot from a bad angle. The puck banked off of the goal post to Stoa, who stuffed a shot inside the left post before Heeter could get his pad across for a 2-1 Hershey lead.
The insurance marker scored by the Bears also happened one second after the expiration of a power play. Segal would fire a slap shot from the left wall that was off the mark, but the puck caromed into the net off of Michael Latta at 19:02.
The Bears finished off the Phantoms at 6:28 of the third, when Deschamps again made a good play to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone. He rolled a pass around the net for Chris Brown, who walked out of the left corner and along the goal line to stuff a shot through the pads of Heeter.
Leggio finished the night with 29 saves, to improve to 17-16-3 on the season. Heeter made 30 saves but saw his record fall to 15-20-0.
The Bears won their 20th game on home ice (20-9-1-3) and improve to 31-20-4-4 on the season, remaining two points out of the eighth and final conference playoff spot.
The Bears host the Norfolk Admirals tomorrow, March 16 in a special 4:00 PM faceoff. The first 3,000 fans will receive an eco-friendly tote bag courtesy of Proac Corporation. The Bears will also wear special St. Patrick’s Day theme jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity following the game. Tickets for this and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Dustin Gazley, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Nate Schmidt…The healthy scratches were RW Stanislav Galiev, D Chay Genoway, C Ryan Potulny and RW Joel Rechlicz…Hershey finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill…Bears RW Chris Brown has goals in both games with Hershey, since joining the club from AHL Portland…RW Brandon Segal and C Jeff Taffe each hit the 40-point plateau while combining on the game-tying goal…LW Nicolas Deschamps matched a Bears season-high for assists in a game…Hershey is 21-1-0-1 when scoring four or more goals.