Saturday night’s game had the Hershey Bears playing at home for only the second time this season. On Friday night, they faced their I-81 rivals from Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins, and they fell by a score of 3-2 and into fifth place in the East division standings. Tonight, another rivalry was renewed, as the Adirondack Phantoms came into Hershey to face the Bears for the first time this season.
The first period brought more opportunities for Hershey than Adirondack. The Bears capitalized off a Ben Holmstrom penalty, Brian Willsie scoring on a slap shot from the point with 13:59 remaining in the period to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
The Bears would later add to it with another power play goal. This time it would be Kyle Greentree who deflected a shot past Johan Backlund with only 42 seconds remaining in the stanza. The Bears took a 2-0 lead into intermission, out-shooting the Phantoms 15-4. Bears netminder Braden Holtby stopped all four shots, while the Phantoms’ Johan Backlund let in two goals on 15 shots.
Early in the second period, there was a lot of open play, but not a lot of whistles. Ashton Rome broke into the Adirondack zone and snapped a shot past Backlund to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. Then there was some more open play, before a four-minute penalty was assessed to the Phantoms’ Zac Rinaldo.
With that power play, Hershey enjoyed still more opportunities in the offensive end. They did not manage to capitalize, but they maintained heavy pressure in the Phantom’s offensive end throughout.
In the final minutes of the period, tempers began to flare, and there were three fights between the teams leading to the second intermission. The period ended with the Bears holding a 3-0 lead. They out-shot the Phantoms 13-7, for a two period total of 28-11 in favor of Hershey.
The third period started with the Bears on an abbreviated, 90-second power play. Adirondack killed it off, and applied offensive pressure on Bears goalie Braden Holtby. Holtby held his ground, and Steve Pinizzotto answered with a goal at the other end with only 14:35 remaining, giving the Bears a 4-0 lead.
With 7:52 remaining, the Bears continued to pull away, with Ashton Rome scoring his second of the game on a wrist shot low to the ice. The Bears led 5-0 with time running low. However, the Phantoms managed to spoil Holtby’s shutout bid, withAndrew Rowe scoring the Phantoms’ lone goal. 5-1 Hershey was the final score, and the Bears also out-shot the Phantoms 37-18.
With this win, the Bears move back into third place in the East Division with seven points. Adirondack falls to seventh place with a record of 2-5-1-0. Tomorrow night the Phantoms get a rematch against Hershey at Giant Center. Puck drops at 5 P.M. Eastern Time.