Shepard Blanks Phantoms in Debut to Earn Carbery 100th Win
(Hershey, PA) - In his American Hockey League debut, goaltender Hunter Shepard posted a 28-save clean sheet to lead the Hershey Bears to a 2-0 win on Sunday evening at GIANT Center. The Bears improved to 20-6-2-0 on the season, and the win was the 100th victory for Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery. He is the 12th coach in franchise history to accomplish this feat.
Sunday's game was a goaltender's duel and Lehigh Valley's Felix Sandstrom kept Hershey scoreless in the first period as the Bears outshot the Phantoms 17-3. Sandstrom would finish the evening with 40 saves for Lehigh Valley.
The only puck that beat Sandstrom came off the tape of Hershey's Brett Leason in the second period. At 9:58, Shane Gersich won a faceoff back to Leason. The forward collected the puck in the slot, and snapped a shot past Sandstrom's blocker to make it 1-0 Hershey. The goal was Leason's seventh of the season.
Shepard stopped 13 shots in the second period, including a breakaway from veteran Chris Mueller, then denied 12 more Lehigh Valley opportunities in the final period to capture the shutout. The two-time NCAA Champion at Minnesota-Duluth was named the game's First Star.
With Sandstrom pulled for the extra attacker, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby sealed the win for the Bears with an empty net goal with 1:50 remaining, tallying his eighth goal of the season. Gersich and Cameron Schilling assisted on the goal, and for Schilling, the helper was his 200th AHL point.
With the win, the Bears have won seven straight games at GIANT Center and the club has won three straight games overall.
Hershey went 0-for-4 on the power play in the game while the Phantoms were 0-for-6.
The two teams rematch on Wednesday at the PPL Center in Allentown at 7:05 p.m. The game may be heard on the Highmark Bears Radio Network and viewed on AHLTV.
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