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Bears Wrap Weekend With 4-3 Shootout Loss to Phantoms

March 26, 2023

The Hershey Bears (38-16-5-4) extended their point streak to six games (4-0-0-2) but suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (33-25-3-3) on Sunday night at GIANT Center.


Both teams played through a scoreless first period, with Zach Fucale and Samuel Ersson turning aside several chances for their respective clubs.

The Bears took the first lead of the contest with a power-play goal at 4:05 of the second period when Garrett Pilon one-timed an Aaron Ness pass at the left circle past Ersson for his eighth of the season; Mike Sgarbossa earned a secondary helper.

Hershey struck with a 5-on-3 man advantage at 10:31 when Ethen Frank and Joe Snively connected in the slot and Snively blasted a shot that glanced off of Sam Anas past Ersson to make it 2-0, giving Anas his 10th of the season. The period concluded with Hershey outshooting Lehigh Valley 21-6 in the frame, matching the previous season-high for shots on goal.

Louie Belpedio scored with a one-timer at 3:32 of the third period to trim the lead to 2-1.

Julian Napravnik answered with his fifth of the season at 4:58 when Henrik Rybinski sent a pass from the right side to the hash-marks and Napravnik beat Ersson to make it 3-1.

The Phantoms responded moments later when Ryan Fitzgerald split the Hershey defense and got a shot through Fucale at 6:25 to make it a one-goal contest.

Artem Anisimov then tied the game with a power-play goal at 9:47.

With the game still tied 3-3 through the end of regulation and overtime, the Bears and Phantoms went to the shootout against each other for the second time this season. Hershey elected to shoot second; Sgarbossa and Napravnik were stopped by Ersson, while Jordy Bellerive and Bobby Brink notched goals in the first and third round to seal the game for Lehigh Valley.

Shots finished 40-24 in favor of the Bears. Fucale went 20-for-23 for Hershey; Ersson was 37-for-40 for Lehigh Valley. The Bears were 2-for-6 on the power play; the Phantoms finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Hershey continues the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, when the Bears open a five-game road trip against the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. The Chocolate and White return home to GIANT Center where they will host the Charlotte Checkers for Berks Ham Shoot Night on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets for the game by CLICKING HERE.

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