Hershey, PA - Paul Carey scored four goals Saturday night at Giant Center, to lead the Hershey Bears to a 6-4 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack, in the second of back-to-back games between the two teams in Hershey.
The Bears had defeated the Wolf Pack 4-3 in overtime Friday night in the opener of the two-game set.
Taylor Beck paced the Wolf Pack Saturday with a goal and two assists, and Ryan Graves had a goal and an assist. Riley Barber added a goal and an assist for Hershey, and Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd had three assists apiece.
The Wolf Pack fell behind 4-0 in Saturday’s game, before battling back to get to as close as 5-4.
“We’ve got to realize soon that we can’t let these games get away from us early,” Beck said. “When we’re playing at our best, we’re a hard team to play against, we’re getting pucks deep and we’re getting lots of chances. If we can just start like that, and continue that throughout the full sixty (minutes), that’s really what you’ve got to do.”
Hershey jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first period, on goals by Carey and Christian Thomas.
Carey started his big night by opening the scoring at 7:50 with his 20th goal of the season. After the Bears won an offensive zone draw, Carey found a quiet spot in Hartford’s coverage and ripped a shot from the right side of the slot past Wolf Pack starting goaltender Mackenzie Skapski on the short side.
Then, on Hershey’s first power play of the evening, Thomas, a former Wolf Pack, made it a 2-0 game with his 24th of the year. Boyd carried down the left side in the Hartford zone and moved toward the back of the net, before passing back to Thomas at the left side of the shot. Thomas’ hard shot found the top corner over Skapski’s catching glove.
The two clubs split four goals in the second period, with the Bears strongly dominating the early action of the session.
Carey would get his second of the game at 7:13, increasing Hershey’s lead to 3-0. Boyd again set up the play, feeding to Carey at the right side of the goal mouth for close-in finish past Skapski.
Barber ended Skapski’s night with a fourth Hershey goal at 14:06. After the Bears completed a penalty kill, Bourque moved the puck into the Wolf Pack zone on right wing and handed off to Barber, whose snap shot found its way past Skapski’s stick side.
Jeff Malcolm replaced Skapski, who made 19 saves, at that point, and the goaltending change seemed to spark the Wolf Pack, who would come up with a pair of power-play goals in a span of 39 seconds starting at 16:57.
Graves got the Wolf Pack onto the board at 16:57 on a two-man advantage, with an unassisted goal. Graves gunned a slap shot from near the top of the right circle, and it whistled high into the net past Bear netminder Vitek Vanecek (15 saves).
Then, at 17:36, after Carey had been called for delay-of-game at 17:15, Beck cut Hershey’s lead to 4-2. Beck took a pass from Marek Hrivik and let go a shot from high in the slot, and, with Matt Carey (no relation to Paul) screening Vanecek, the try flew by the Bear goaltender and in.
Paul Carey got his hat trick goal on a Bear power play at 11:15 of the third period, with Chris Brown off for high-sticking. Carey tried to pass the puck from below the goal line to Malcolm’s left, and the feed was blocked, but the puck came right back to Carey. He sent it back into the goal mouth and it deflected past Malcolm (13 saves) for a 5-2 Hershey lead.
That appeared to be an insurance goal at that point, but it turned out to be the game-winner, as the Wolf Pack responded shortly thereafter with a pair of scores only 42 seconds apart.
Matt Carey tallied his 18th of the year to make it 5-3 at 14:51, setting up in front of the Bear net and re-directing a Beck shot past Vanecek.
Then, at 15:33, Boo Nieves, in his first game back in the Wolf Pack lineup after missing 19 games due to injury, cut Hershey’s lead to 5-4. Beck and Dan Catenacci combined to send Nieves in alone up the middle in the Bear end, and he snapped a shot that beat Vanecek low to the stick side.
That would be as close as the Wolf Pack could get, though, and Paul Carey completed the scoring with his fourth of the night into an empty net with 1:11 remaining. His four goals on Saturday gave Carey nine goals and three assists for 12 points in seven games against the Wolf Pack on the year.
The Wolf Pack stay in the Keystone State for their next game, as they finish a season-high stretch of six straight road contests this Tuesday night, March 21 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 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 Friday, March 24 vs. the Providence Bruins. That is a 7:15 PM game, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
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.