Providence, RI- Touting the fresh new addition of Veteran Defender Tom Gilbert via a trade by the Washington Capitals, things were looking good for Hershey. Then the puck dropped. A quick deficit was once again the downfall for the Bears as they fell 4-3.
Much like Sunday in Bridgeport, the Bears surrendered the first two goals of the game. The first of which came when the Bears failed to get the puck in deep. Providence’s Alex Grant threw a pass up to Colby Cave. Cave beat Parker Milner for the 1-0 lead. Jordan Szwarz would finish off a 2-on-1 with Wayne Simpson to make it 2-0 providence just 1:14 later.
Another Hershey addition Kelly Zajac, a call up from South Carolina made his presence known. He took advantage of a dominating shift by the Bears to pot a loose puck to put Hershey on the board nearly four minutes later.
Providence added another to restore their two goal lead at 3-1 when Hershey failed to clear the zone. Alex Grant picked up his second point of the night as he fired home his 12th of the season from the point at 16:59 of the first.
The second period picked up right where the first left off. Just over one minute into the second Anton Blidh beat Milner to make it 4-1 to chase a Bears goalie for the second game in a row.
Hershey got a little bit of luck when a providence breakout pass when off Tyler Randell’s leg in his own zone and bounced right to Stan Galiev. Galiev was all alone in front and made no mistake to cut the Providence lead to 4-2.
Third period proved to be the charm for Hershey as they managed to open the period on a positive note. After a poor pass by Providence Paul Carey got the puck to Stan Galiev who was breaking in. Galiev buried his second goal of the game to cut the lead to 4-3 2:31 into the third.
The goal gave Hershey new life and they controlled puck possession for the majority of the third period. A powerplay opportunity and eventually the extra attacker were not enough and Providence held on for the 4-3 victory.
Vitek Vanecek stopped all 18 shots he faced in relief which should be a confidence boost for him after being pulled early last Sunday. Stan Galiev’s two goals give him 10 points in his last 7 games.
Points are starting to become very important for the Bears as they slip to 3 points back of Bridgeport for fourth in the division. They’ll need to win as they’ll hit the ice in providence for a rematch on Saturday night.