Frank Turns Trick in 5-2 Bears Win Over Checkers
December 2, 2023
Ethen Frank scored three goals for his second career hat trick and Clay Stevenson made an AHL career-high 34 saves to pace the Hershey Bears (18-4-0-0) to a 5-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers (10-9-0-0) on Saturday night at Bojangles' Coliseum. With the victory, Hershey swept its third consecutive week of games, extending its season-high win streak to nine games, and pushed its road win streak to six games.
Uvis Balinskis opened the scoring for the hosts at 6:12 of the first period with a shot from the slot that beat Stevenson to the glove side to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead, which the Checkers would preserve heading into the intermission.
Aaron Ness took a cross-slot feed from Joe Snively and fired a shot past Ludovic Waeber at 4:41 of the second period to draw Hershey level with his first goal of the campaign. Alex Limoges earned a secondary assist on the goal.
After Hardy Haman Aktell skipped the puck along the right-wing boards to Mike Sgarbossa, the center broke into the offensive zone and flipped a pass across to the left circle, where Frank one-timed his ninth of the season past Waeber at 11:15 to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
Minutes later Frank received a long pass from Vincent Iorio to center ice before flying up the right side and sneaking a shot into the upper-right corner of the Charlotte net to give Hershey a 3-1 edge at 15:04.
The Bears extended their lead in the third period, as Joe Snively grabbed the puck along the ice in front of the net and potted his seventh of the season at 4:38 from Jimmy Huntington and Limoges.
Lucas Carlsson's shot from the blue line beat a screened Stevenson and pulled the Checkers back to within a pair of goals at 6:41, cutting Hershey's lead to 4-2.
Frank completed his three-goal night with an empty-net power-play tally from Logan Day and Mike Vecchione at 17:57 to seal the game for Hershey.
Shots finished 36-21 in favor of the Checkers. Stevenson went 34-for-36 to secure his fourth consecutive victory of the season and his eighth win of the season overall (first among AHL rookies); Waeber stopped 16-of-20 shots in the defeat for Charlotte. Hershey went 1-for-3 on the power play; the Checkers went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Bears continue the 2023-24 season, presented by Penn State Health, when they complete their four-game road trip with a clash against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Upstate Medical University Arena. Hershey returns home to GIANT Center to host the Cleveland Monsters for Hometown Heroes Night, featuring military-themed activities and recognition throughout the evening, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets for the game by CLICKING HERE.
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