HERSHEY, Pa. – It was a big afternoon for a pair of Philadelphia Flyers prospects in an AHL contest between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Hershey Bears on Sunday, as Tyson Foerester and Wade Allison scored their first goals to help the Phantoms to a 4-1 win at Giant Center. The Phantoms skated to their fourth win in five games against the Bears in the 14 game season series between the two teams as the season set nears its halfway point.
It would be the Bears jumping out in front early as Damien Riat scored his second AHL goal as he got some space on a setup from Blake Pietila and ripped a shot past Zane McIntyre to get Hershey an early 1-0 lead. That lead would be short-lived, as the Phantoms responded 42 seconds later to even the score at one. On a two-on-one break, Foerester received a pass from David Kase that went through debuting Hershey defender Andrew Nielsen and was able to chip it past Zach Fucale to even the score.
In the back half of the period, it would be the victory on the special teams battle for the Phantoms that would haunt Hershey. Derrick Pouliot fired a bomb from the top of the left circle that was too tough for Fucale to stop and ultimately stood up as the game-winner. Lehigh Valley would add to that on a two-man advantage with Joe Snively and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in the box when Ryan Fitzgerald slammed home a rebound with just five seconds left in the opening stanza to increase the lead to 3-1.
The only goal of the rest of Sunday’s contest was a big one for forward Wade Allison. Making his AHL debut on Sunday, Allison scored a picture-perfect goal by snapping a shot from the top of the left circle that went bar-down Fucale to make it 4-1. Allison, a second-round pick of the Flyers in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, was on injured reserve this season out of training camp and hadn’t played in a game since skating for Western Michigan during the 2019-20 season. His addition this past week adds to the increasing youth scoring on this group of Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Hershey did get its chances to get back in the game in the second half, but the special teams differential proved to be too much to overcome. The Phantoms were two for seven on the kill while the Bears came up empty on four chances.
Bears head coach Spencer Carbery did not comment much on the officiating, only declaring it to be an “off-night” for the officiating crew. Hershey’s power play desperately needs to come through in games like this, as its percentage drops to just 10% efficiency, nearly the bottom of the league in that regard in the early going of the season.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) March 14, 2021
Lehigh Valley hosts the Binghamton Devils on Wednesday, while the Bears are idle until they visit the RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House on Friday evening to take their turn to play against the Devils. The next installment of the Bears-Phantoms rivalry will take place on March 24 at PPL Center in Allentown.