Bears Blow Past Sound Tigers, 5-1
(Hershey, PA) - Riley Barber scored twice, including his 30th and 31st goals of the season, to help the Hershey Bears to a 5-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night at Giant Center. Barber became the first Bears player to record 30 or more goals in a single season since Chris Bourque finished the 2015-16 season with 30 goals for the Chocolate and White.
Garrett Pilon opened the scoring for the Chocolate and White 9:31 into the game to provide his club a 1-0 lead. Shane Gersich fed a pass from the side of the net to the low slot, and Pilon crashed the crease and fired a quick shot past Sound Tigers goaltender Christopher Gibson. The Bears were granted a power play late in the first period, and the special teams unit hit pay-dirt to double the lead to 2-0. At the 18:30 mark, Aaron Ness blasted a shot from the point that deflected off a Bridgeport body and past Gibson. Hershey's 2-0 lead at first intermission came with a 9-4 shot advantage.
The scoring quickly continued into the second frame, and Barber waited little time to reach his milestone, 30th goal of the season. On the power play, Barber released a dart from the right-wing off the inside of the post and into the cage to provide his team a 3-0 cushion. The tally marked the 11th time this season Hershey had scored two or more power play goals in a single game.
Bridgeport scored their lone goal to pull back within a deuce courtesy of Steve Bernier at 3:17, but Barber received his second of the night only 91 seconds later. Mike Sgarbossa tallied his 30th assist of the season after finding Barber on a cross-ice pass in the low-slot. Barber's 31st goal of the season provided Hershey a 4-1 lead, and catapulted himself to the top of the American Hockey League in goals among all active players. Sgarbossa joined the scoring himself at 10:22 and became the first player for the Chocolate and White this season to reach four points (one goal, three assists) in a single game. Barber finished with three points (two goals, one assist), and Aaron Ness tallied both a goal and an assist.
The Bears held the Sound Tigers to a scoreless third period and completed the 5-1 final in front of 10,171 fans at Giant Center. Final shot totals were 28-19 in favor of the Bears. Hershey's power play finished 2-for-7 and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Additionally, the Bears record improved to 35-22-3-4 on the season, and currently stand only two points removed from 2nd place in the Atlantic Division.
The Hershey Bears return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 19 and look to extend their current six-game point streak in a 7 p.m. tilt against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It's Mascot Mania at Giant Center. Local sponsor and sports team mascots will be on-site to interact with fans. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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