HERSHEY — Dustin Gazley scored for the Hershey Bears, but Hershey’s annual Thanksgiving Eve game was spoiled by a 2-1 victory for the Springfield Thunderbirds on Wednesday night at Giant Center.
The win was the Thunderbirds first victory over Hershey in eight tries over the past two seasons.
After a scoreless first period, Springfield struck first at 5:58 of the middle frame. Thunderbirds’ forward Anthony Greco was credited with his seventh goal of the season to give Springfield a 1-0 advantage early in the second period.
The forward darted down the right wing and into Hershey’s zone. He centered a pass, and the puck deflected off Hershey forward Chris Bourque’s skate and past Bears’ goaltender Pheonix Copley. Denis Malgin tallied the lone assist.
Hershey was finally able to crack Springfield goaltender Harri Sateri early in the third period to tie the game.
Gazley tallied his second goal of the season just three minutes into the stanza on a rebound. After being denied by Sateri on a quick chance from the slot, but the puck came back to Gazley with the Springfield goaltender out of position, and he made no mistake to tie the score, 1-1. Liam O’Brien extended his point streak to four games with an assist. Jeremy Langlois also added a helper on Gazley’s marker.
Springfield would score the game-winning goal at 12:17 on a net-mouth scramble. Springfield defender Thomas Schemitsch was credited with the goal, as a rebound off a Ludwig Bystrom shot hit his skate and rolled past Copley to make it 2-1 Thunderbirds.
Hershey pressed late, but Sateri was up to the challenge, and stopped 28 shots to earn the win and improve to 3-5-0-0 on the season.
The Bears outshot the Thunderbirds 29-27. Neither team converted on the power play as Hershey was 0-for-5 and Springfield was 0-for-3.
The Bears are back in action on Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford as they battle the Wolf Pack. The puck drops at 7 p.m.