Bears Power Play Overpowers Phantoms in 6-1 Win
(Allentown, PA) - Connor McMichael scored twice, the power play struck a season-high three times, and Pheonix Copley stopped 25 shots to lead the Hershey Bears to a 6-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at the PPL Center. With the victory, Hershey has won a season-high five straight games and improved its record to 16-5-2-0.
Hershey's Shane Gersich tallied his 6th goal of the season for the Bears to open the scoring at 5:14 of the first period. Off a turnover, the forward got the puck in the slot, and his first shot was turned out by the pad of Lehigh Valley goalie Felix Sandstrom. Gersich capitalized on the rebound, scoring from the left wing to make it 1-0 Hershey.
The Bears doubled the lead on the power play at 11:47 on McMichael's 9th goal of the season. The rookie got a pass from Cameron Schilling in the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot off the far post and past Sandstrom to make it 2-0 Hershey. The Bears have now scored a power play goal in eight of the last nine games.
In the second period, Hershey scored on the two consecutive shots to up the lead to 4-0. McMichael struck for his second goal of the game on the power play, blowing a slapshot past Sandstrom's blocker from the right circle. Matt Moulson and Cameron Schilling assisted on the rookie's team-leading 10th goal of the season at 6:56.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby added his 5th goal of the season for Hershey at 8:31. In his 100th AHL game, Jonsson Fjallby darted down the ice with speed and scored an unassisted goal on a long-range shot that fooled Sandstrom, beating him under the catching glove to make it 4-0.
Philippe Maillet scored Hershey's third power play goal of the game at 3:18 of the third period, but the Phantoms' Ryan Fitzgerald responded with a power play goal of his own at 6:04 to cut Hershey's lead to 5-1.
The Bears finished the win with a shorthanded goal from Brett Leason at 11:21. The forward extended his point streak to five games, scoring five-hole on a breakaway after Gersich hit him in stride with an up-ice pass. The goal was Leason's 6th of the season, and his first marker versus a team other than Binghamton.
The Bears outshot the Phantoms 34-26 in the victory and held the Phantoms to 1-for-6 on the power play. Hershey was 3-for-7 on the man-advantage against the league's best penalty kill.
Hershey returns to action on Saturday at GIANT Center versus the WIlkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 1 p.m.
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