ALLENTOWN — The Hershey Bears jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes, but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms stormed back, earning a 7-6 win over Hershey at PPL Center on Friday.
Hershey opened the scoring at 5:08, courtesy of a new-look third line. In his first game back from representing Team USA in the Olympics, Chris Bourque was placed on a line with Dustin Gazley and Jeremy Langlois. Bourque sent the puck behind the net from the left wing to Langlois. A backhand pass set up Gazley on the doorstep to cash in on Lehigh Valley goaltender John Muse.
Chris Conner drew Lehigh Valley even at 9:12 on the Phantoms' first power play attempt of the night for his 200th career goal.
The Bears closed the opening period by scoring four straight goals, and grabbing a 5-1 lead. Lucas Johansen made it 2-1 Hershey in his first goal since December. Only 23 seconds later, Langlois added his fifth goal of the season, followed by a Nathan Walker strike at 14:01 after a crisp passing play. The goal ended Muse's night, as he was replaced by Dustin Tokarski.
At 15:21, Tyler Graovac greeted Tokarski after finishing a passing play from Johansen and Walker to make it 5-1.
But the Phantoms stormed back, starting with back-to-back goals by Nic Aube-Kubel and Phil Myers.
Hershey responded to up its lead to 6-3 at 8:09 of the middle stanza on Riley Barber's team-leading 20th goal of the year.
Lehigh Valley once again had an answer, scoring twice before the period ended. The second goal ended Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek's night.
But the Phantoms wound up tying it at 4:12 of the third period. Vecchione's initial shot was stopped by Phoenix Copley, but the goaltender lost the puck in his feet and accidentally kicked in into his own net.
Aube-Kubel scored the winning goal at 13:01, wedging a rebound past Copley's blocker for his second goal of the game.
The Bears have now dropped two straight games, and currently sit at 23-27-4-4. The Bears finished the 2017-18 season 0-6-0-0 in Allentown
The Bears return to action Saturday night on home ice against Utica at 7.