Bears Top Line Surges in 4-2 Win Overs Islanders

December 9, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Bridgeport, CT) - The line of Mike Vecchione (2g, 2a), Mike Sgarbossa (1g, 1a) and Ethen Frank (1g, 3a) led the way with a 10-point night as the Hershey Bears (16-5-2-0) picked up a 4-2 victory over the Bridgeport Islanders (13-5-4-0) on Friday night at Total Mortgage Arena. The victory was Hershey's fifth consecutive win on the road, and also vaulted Hershey back into first place in the American Hockey League.

The Islanders scored 1:34 into the contest to take a 1-0 lead when Ruslan Iskhakov barreled down the right wing and shoveled a backhand shot that slipped through the pads of Zach Fucale.

Vecchione knotted the game for the Bears when Dylan McIlrath sent a pass through the neutral zone to Frank. As the forward made his way into the offensive zone, he spun a behind-the-back pass from the right circle into the slot, and Vecchione lofted his eighth of the season past Cory Schneider at 17:40 to make it 1-1. Hershey ultimately finished the first period with 21 shots on goal, a new season high.

The Chocolate and White took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Schneider misplayed the puck on a dump-in from Frank and gave it away to Vecchione, who curled to the left circle and found Sgarbossa in the slot, and Sgabossa backhanded the puck past Schneider at the right side of the net at 4:16 for his sixth of the season.

Vecchione netted his second of the evening at 16:54 when he teamed up with Frank on an odd-man rush and buried a feed from Frank behind Schneider to make it 3-1.

The Islanders trimmed Hershey's lead back to a goal just 22 seconds into the third period when Cole Bardreau found the net to make it 3-2.

Frank completed his career night when he netted an empty-net tally from Vecchione and Sgarbossa with Schneider pulled at 19:13. The goal was Frank's seventh of the season.

Shots finished 41-22 favoring Hershey, as the Bears matched their single-game season-high for shots on goal. Fucale went 20-for-22 for Hershey to pick up his 10th win of the season; Schneider was 37-for-40 for the Islanders. The Bears were 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Islanders went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.

Hershey continues the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, when the Bears are back on home ice to host the Cleveland Monsters for the first time this season at GIANT Center on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets for the game.

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