ALLENTOWN — A four-goal third period, and a hat trick from Danick Martel, propelled the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to a 7-2 win over the Hershey Bears in the opening game of the 2017-18 season.
Hershey got goals from Chandler Stephenson and John Albert in the loss Saturday night at the PPL Center.
Martel was able to strike just 2:19 into the game to give Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead.
A back-and-forth second period saw Hershey strike twice. Stephenson scored Hershey’s first goal of the new campaign, tying the score at 9:54 of the middle period.
After the Phantoms got a second goal from Martel at 11:14 on a redirection, Hershey responded again. Albert was in the right place at the right time on the power play for his first goal with the Bears.
The tie would not last long however. At 18:51, Nic Aube-Kubel scored for the Phantoms to regain the lead for Lehigh Valley.
The Phantoms sealed the win with four goals in the final frame. Martel added the exclamation point for the sold-out crowd of 8,643, beating Hershey’s Lucas Johansen to a loose puck, and scoring short-side on Milner at 18:31 to complete the hat trick.
Each team fired 31 shots in the contest. Hershey was 1-for-4 on the power play while Lehigh Valley was held to 0-for-3.
The Bears were without top two goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek in Saturday’s game. Both missed the contest with minor lower-body injuries.
Hershey returns to the ice Oct. 14 for opening night at Giant Center vs. the Belleville Senators at 7 p.m.