Hartford, CT - The Hershey Bears exploded for five goals in a span of 9:26 in the second period Friday night at the XL Center, on the way to a 6-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Ryan Graves scored the Wolf Pack’s goal, but Stan Galiev had a pair of goals for the Bears, and Travis Boyd and Liam O’Brien added a goal and an assist each.
The Wolf Pack began the game with strong defensive effort, as they did not allow a shot on goal for the first eight minutes of the opening period.
The Pack had the first power play chance of the game, after former Wolf Pack captain Ryan Bourque was called for hooking at 8:48.
Just over twenty seconds into the penalty, Tyler Lewington was booked for slashing, which gave Hartford a two-man advantage for 1:38.
Although the Wolf Pack had multiple quality chances during the power play, the Bears managed to kill the penalty and keep the game scoreless.
Perhaps the Pack’s best opportunity of the period came during a Justin Fontaine and Steven Kampfer-led break. Fontaine fed Kampfer, who deflected the puck forward, but was denied by Bear goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who finished with ten saves in the period.
Only 58 seconds into the second period, Hartford’s John Gilmour was whistled for holding. Although Hershey peppered Wolf Pack starting goaltender Brandon Halverson with shots, he was able to deny them all to keep the game tied.
At 7:17, the Bears were finally able to break the scoreless tie as Christian Djoos’ cross-ice feed found Christian Thomas, who buried the puck top-shelf past Halverson to make the score 1-0.
Just 1:19 later, Jakub Vrana scored off an assist from Boyd, increasing the Bears’ lead to 2-0.
As the period continued to unravel, Galiev fired a shot from the top of the left-wing circle that found its way through the legs of Halverson at 12:06, and upped Hershey’s edge to 3-0.
Just as they had done following their first goal, Hershey netted another one quickly, scored by Boyd from the right side, just 44 seconds after Galiev’s.
Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander opted to pull Halverson in favor of Magnus Hellberg after the fourth goal, with Halverson having made 15 saves.
The Bears continued to pile it on in the second period, when O’Brien took the puck down the left side of the ice on a 2-on-1, and beat Hellberg to the short side, making the score 5-0.
The Wolf Pack were able to get on the scoreboard with 25.1 seconds remaining in the period. Graves took a pass from Matt Carey and ripped a shot from the left point past Vanecek’s glove side, to cut the deficit to four.
Adam Tambellini was called for slashing at 8:54 in the third, and Fontaine also made his way to the penalty box at 9:43, after he was found guilty of cross checking, to put the Pack two men down.
The Bears capitalized on Hartford’s penalties at 10:47, as Galiev took a pass from Djoos and scored his second of the game, making the final 6-1.
Gernander noted that, “I thought they gained some momentum on the power play in the second. We didn’t play as disciplined with the puck as we did in the first. They upped their ante in the second and we didn’t respond.”
The Wolf Pack now travel to Springfield for a Saturday-night date with the Thunderbirds. Faceoff is 7:05 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next Wolf Pack home game is this Sunday, February 26 vs. the Binghamton Senators. That is a 5:00 start, and it’s another “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack” game. The Family Value Pack includes two tickets, two sodas and two hot dogs, all for just $40. Also, at every Sunday Wolf Pack home game this season the first 2,000 fans will receive a “hockey bingo” card. The spaces on these cards contain possibilities that might happen in the game, and if they do, fans can fill in the spaces to win Wolf Pack bingo prizes.
Tickets for all remaining Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Hershey Bears 6 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Friday, February 24, 2017 - XL Center
Hershey 0 5 1 - 6
Hartford 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-R. Bourque Her (hooking), 8:48; Lewington Her (slashing), 9:10.
2nd Period-1, Hershey, Thomas 18 (Djoos, R. Bourque), 7:17. 2, Hershey, Vrana 14 (Boyd), 8:36. 3, Hershey, Galiev 16 (Zajac, Williams), 12:06. 4, Hershey, Boyd 12 (O'Brien, Vanecek), 12:50. 5, Hershey, O'Brien 7 (Gilbert), 16:43. 6, Hartford, Graves 6 (Carey, Glass), 19:34. Penalties-Gilmour Hfd (holding), 0:58; Jensen Hfd (cross-checking), 14:26.
3rd Period-7, Hershey, Galiev 17 (Djoos, C. Bourque), 10:47 (PP). Penalties-Tambellini Hfd (slashing), 8:54; Fontaine Hfd (cross-checking), 9:43; Vrana Her (high-sticking), 11:29; Stromwall Hfd (high-sticking), 14:37; Summers Hfd (holding), 15:02; Williams Her (interference), 19:03; Stromwall Hfd (cross-checking), 19:03.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 2-20-10-32. Hartford 10-6-7-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 1 / 6; Hartford 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hershey, Vanecek 14-9-7 (23 shots-22 saves). Hartford, Halverson 8-11-0 (19 shots-15 saves); Hellberg 10-11-5 (13 shots-11 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8), Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).