Despite Two Shorthanded Goals, Bears Fall to Phantoms 4-3
(Allentown, PA) - The Hershey Bears couldn't stop a third period comeback from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night, falling 4-3 at the PPL Center in Allentown. The loss snapped Hershey's eight-game point streak at Lehigh Valley and dropped the Bears record to 5-2-2-0.
The Phantoms led 1-0 through 20 minutes thanks to a goal on a 2-on-1 rush from forward Linus Sandin at 9:52 of the opening frame. The first period saw little action, with the two teams combining for just eight shots. In the middle frame, the game opened up, and Hershey struck for a pair of shorthanded goals to grab a 3-2 lead.
Martin Fehervary tied the game for the Bears just 52 seconds into the middle stanza, converting on a 2-on-1 rush off a feed from Riley Sutter. Lehigh Valley quickly responded, with Tanner MacMaster scoring on a deflection off a Isaac Ratcliffe shot, making it 2-1 Phantoms at 2:47.
Shane Gersich evened the score for the Bears at 9:21, snapping a shot past Lehigh Valley goaltender Felix Sandstrom off a faceoff win to make it 2-2. The goal was Gersich's first of the season, and Sutter picked up another helper to earn the first multi-point game of his professional career.
Hershey scored a second shorthanded goal at 12:16 of the second period to take a 3-2 advantage. Hershey's Brett Leason poked the puck away in neutral ice and sent teammate Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in on a breakaway. The Hershey forward went forehand, backhand and beat Sandstrom to give Hershey its first lead of the night.
In the third period, the Bears out shot the Phantoms 14-8, but it was Lehigh Valley scoring both goals to earn the comeback win. Phantoms captain Cal O'Reilly tied the game at 12:22, deflecting a shot inside the right post and past Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley. At 14:01, Derrick Pouliot scored the winner for the Phantoms, blasting a slap shot from the left point past Copley's glove.
Both teams failed to convert on the power play on Wednesday with Hershey going 0-for-3 and and Lehigh Valley 0-for-4. The Bears out shot the Phantoms 26-19. Lehigh Valley has won all three meetings with Hershey so far this season.
The two teams rematch on Saturday at GIANT Center. The puck drops at 1 p.m.
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