Malenstyn Scores Twice, Bears Top Phantoms 4-3
(Lehigh Valley, PA) - The Hershey Bears tied a franchise record with points in their 15th straight game (14-0-0-1), and extended their current winning streak to nine in a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday night at the PPL Center. Beck Malenstyn scored a pair of goals in the first period for his first professional multi-goal game.
For the second straight night, the Phantoms drew first blood, but the Bears rallied right back. Only 7:38 in, Tyrell Goulbourne opened the scoring on a rebound after depositing a Jori Lehtera shot past Vitek Vanecek inside the blue paint. Before the period came to a close, Malenstyn scored twice on 2-time NHL All-Star goaltender Brian Elliott. First at 13:52, Malenstyn redirected a Ryan Sproul shot through the five-hole of Elliott.
At the 16:48 mark, Malenstyn on the transition blasted a shot past Elliott for his second goal of the night. Hershey carried a 2-1 lead into first intermission with shots even at 7-7. Into the second period, the Chocolate and White tacked on two more to take a commanding 4-1 lead. After the Bears successfully killed a Jonas Siegenthaler cross-checking minor to start the frame, the Bears cashed in on a power play chance of their own.
After winning the ensuing offensive zone draw, Riley Barber fed an open Mike Sgarbossa in the slot. Sgarbossa tallied his 23rd goal of the season, and Barber earned his 23rd assist on the play at the 6:28 mark. Less than two minutes later, Ryan Sproul scored the eventual game-winner on a shot from the right point past Elliott. Shots after 40 minutes were 16-14 Bears.
Lehigh Valley pushed in the third period to chip their deficit to one goal, but the Bears successfully hung on for a 4-3 final. Nicolas Aube-Kubel tallied at 2:07, and Mikhail Vorobyev brought Lehigh Valley within 4-3 after beating Vitek Vanecek from a sharp angle at 14:37. The Chocolate and White's record improved to 29-20-0-3 with the victory, and the Bears have rallied their road record to 11-11-0-2
Hershey finished 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. The Bears return to action on Friday, Feb. 22 with a 7:05 p.m. meeting against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena. Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch will have the call on the Bears Radio Network.
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