Bears Topple Comets, 4-1
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears concluded a two-game season series against the Utica Comets in a 4-1 win on Saturday night at Giant Center. Vitek Vanecek stopped 31 shots in net, and Aaron Ness recorded two assists to reach 50 helpers on the season.
Nathan Walker opened the scoring for the Chocolate and White and tallied for the second straight game at the 14:32 mark. Walker caught Utica goaltender Ty Reichenbach napping on the offensive zone entry, and banked a sharp-angle shot into the cage along the short side. The fortunate tally provided Hershey a 1-0 lead into first intermission in addition to leading in shots, 10-8.
Into the second period, the Comets pressed in Hershey's zone with several strong chances, but Vanecek answered the bell repeatedly early. The opposition finally broke through at 6:48 on Kole Lind's fifth goal of the season. Lind beat Vanecek on a snap shot from the right face-off circle with traffic at the net front to even the score 1-1.
The Bears received a power play chance 7:24 after Utica's Tom Pyatt was whistled for a slashing infraction. A night after going 2-for-3 on the man-advantage, Hershey's special teams unit hit pay-dirt once more. At the net front, Jayson Megna banged home his 20th goal of the season at 8:03 following an initial chance by Mike Sgarbossa. Aaron Ness recorded the secondary helper for his 49th assist of the season. Megna's goal stood as the go-ahead tally leading to the third period. Shots after 40 minutes were 24-19 Utica.
Ness recorded his 50th assist of the season, and did so in fancy fashion at the 10:44 mark of the third period. In the offensive zone, Ness started at the high-slot with the puck and circled the perimeter to pull Reichenbach out of position. Shane Gersich received a pass from beneath the goal line and scored into an open net to provide the Bears a 3-1 cushion. Lucas Johansen added an empty net goal at 19:24 to secure the 4-1 final.
The Hershey Bears closeout the 2018-19 regular season tomorrow night at Giant Center. The Bears will battle the Hartford Wolf Pack and look to sweep the six-game season series. It's Fan Appreciation Night, as well as the pregame Player Awards Ceremony. The pregame ceremony will begin at 4:50 p.m. prior to the 5 p.m. puck drop. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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