Hershey,PA- Looking to build off their first win of the week, the Bears needed a positive start against one of the league’s top teams. Not only did Hershey get the big start, they sent a message to the division: the sleeping giant is awake. Hershey rolled their way to a 6-1 win against division rival Lehigh Valley.

Team captain Garrett Mitchell started the scoring as he skated to the goal on a pass from Zach Sill. He found the back of the net through Alex Lyon‘s five-hole for the 1-0 lead just over five minutes in.

“As soon as I faked it and faked like I was gonna come across, (Lyon) just opened up a little bit and sometimes you close your eyes and a blind squirrel can find a nut I guess,” said Garrett Mitchell on his goal.

Hershey did an excellent job of tying up the neutral zone and limiting the Phantom’s offensive zone time. Mathias Bau scored for the second consecutive game, extending the lead to 2-0 off a feed from Travis Boyd.

Tyler Lewington sent the Bears into the intermission with a 3-0 goal lead as Alex Lyon unintentionally knocked the puck over the goal line. Bears lead the shot count 16-3 after one.

As would be expected after a poor start, the first half of the second period was dominated by the Phantoms. Thanks to back to back penalties by Wayne Simpson and Kris Bindulis, the Phantoms made a push and closed the gap on shots.

The Hershey Penalty kill though hemmed in, did not panic. Pheonix Copley made his fair share of stops including a couple on his former roommate Chris Conner.

Once out of penalty trouble, the Bears retook the momentum. Wayne Simpson quieted the comeback efforts as he picked up a slick drop pass by Travis Boyd. His shot beat Lyon for his third straight game with a goal to make it 4-0 Hershey.

Riley Barber
 quelled any hopes of a Phantoms comeback early in the third with his third goal of the season. Barber’s shot hit the top corner off a pass from Jonas Siegenthaler to make it 5-0.

Copley remaining alert despite the big lead made a couple of quick saves in succession while his team was on the power play. Shortly there afterward, Mathias Bau scored his second of the game on the same power play to make it 6-0. Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd registered the assist, each with their third of the game.

Greg Carey eventually got the Phantoms on the board with a bang-bang passing play. Copley had no chance to get across to stop that one. Phil Varone and Colin McDonald with the assists.

The goal proved too little much too late for the Phantoms as they fell 6-1 to Hershey. In the winning effort, the Bears killed off 5/6 Lehigh power plays. Pheonix Copley was solid and made 24 of 25 saves. Alex Lyon stopped 27 of the 33 he faced in the loss.

Three stars:

Travis Boyd 3 A

Pheonix Copley 24 Saves

Mathias Bau 2 G (game winner)

The win is a confidence booster and assures that Hershey will win the week taking 4 out of six possible points so far. Bears Captain Garrent Mitchell was asked about it in the post-game.

“We knew we were right there and obviously with the win tonight it solidifies with the room that we have the ability the play with those top-end teams.  The other night in Wilkes and we have them again tomorrow.  Playing as many good teams in our division that we do knowing that we’re right there, it’s a really huge step for us,” said Mitchell.

Hershey will finish out the week on Sunday afternoon as they host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 5 pm. Lehigh Valley is next in action on Wednesday on the road in Belleville against the Senators.

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