SPRINGFIELD, MA — The Hershey Bears scored a 4-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. Mathias Bau's second period goal at 16:16 stood as the game-winner, and Chris Bourque notched three assists in the winning effort.
Springfield opened the scoring at 8:17 of the first period on a strike by Maxim Mamin for his fifth goal of the season. The lead was short lived, as Travis Boyd answered for Hershey at the 12:06 mark. Hershey defender Aaron Ness threw the puck on goal from the perimeter, and Boyd quickly gathered and potted the equalizer for his seventh tally of the regular season.
Prior to first intermission, the Thunderbirds grabbed their second lead of the night. Jayce Hawryluck finished a passing play at 16:32 and beat Bears' goaltender Pheonix Copley from the left wing.
It was the Chocolate and White that took control in the middle stanza and grabbed a 3-2 lead at second intermission. At 4:42, Wayne Simpson deflected a Ness shot at the front of the net to tie the game again. It was Simpson's seventh marker of the season.
At 16:16, Bourque contributed his third assist of the night on his club's first go-ahead goal. On a crisp passing play on the transition, Bau snapped a shot bar-down into the cage to give Hershey their first lead. The goal was Bau's ninth tally of the season, moving him into a tie for second place on the the club.
With 1:09 left in regulation, Hershey's Riley Barber capitalized and added an insurance goal with a nifty forehand-backhand move while on the power play. The goal cemented a 4-2 final, giving Copley his first win in goal since December 3. He stopped 26 shots to earn the win.
Hershey improved their record to 15-16-0-3, while Springfield drops to 13-19-1-1. The Bears power play went 1-for-3 on the evening along with a perfect 3-for-3 penalty kill.