Bears Start Thanksgiving Trip with 2-1 Win in Springfield
November 23, 2022Connor McMichael and Mason Morelli scored, and Hunter Shepard turned in a highlight-worthy performance as the Hershey Bears (10-4-2-0) began a three-game road trip with a 2-1 victory over the the Springfield Thunderbirds (7-7-0-3) on Wednesday night at MassMutual Center.
Despite a pair of early penalties in the first period, the Bears managed to out-shoot the Thunderbirds by an 8-7 margin in the opening frame, but goaltenders Shepard and Joel Hofer kept the game at 0-0 through the first 20 minutes of play.
It appeared that the second period would provide much of the same, until the final minutes of the middle stanza, when Martin Frk put Springfield up 1-0 when he one-timed the puck off a face-off play in the Hershey zone at 17:04.
It did not take long for the Chocolate and White to respond, as 22 seconds later, Henrik Borgstrom fed McMichael in the slot, and McMichael toe-dragged around a defender before beating Hofer with a wrist shot at 17:26 for his first of the season to level the score at 1-1. Henrik Rybinski received a secondary assist.
In the third period, Shepard prevented a go-ahead score at 5:26 with a diving glove save on Greg Printz to keep the score level.
Minutes later, just as Aaron Ness exited the penalty box, Mason Morelli stole the puck from Frk and sped up the ice on a breakaway, backhanding the puck through the legs of Hofer for his third of the season, and the eventual game-winner at 8:18 to make it 2-1.
The Thunderbirds attempted to even the score late, but the Bears held off the 6-on-5 attempt by Springfield with Hofer pulled.
Shots finished 27-25 favoring Springfield. Shepard went 26-for-27 for Hershey, while Hofer was 23-for-25. The Bears were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Thunderbirds were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Hershey continues the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, when the Bears make their way to Hartford to face the Wolf Pack at the XL Center on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. The Bears are back at GIANT Center for Truly Tuesday, featuring $16 Truly and empanadas at the Truly Cart, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets for the game by CLICKING HERE.
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