ALLENTOWN — The Hershey Bears scored three goals in the third period, but the comeback attempt fell short, as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms pulled away with a 5-4 victory Friday night at the PPL Center. Hershey's Wayne Simpson had three assists in the losing effort.

Lehigh Valley drew first blood only 4:09 into the game off a quick offensive zone entry. Tyrell Goulbourne snapped a quick shot through the legs of Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley to give his club a 1-0 lead.

In the later stages of the period, Hershey's John Albert scored the game's equalizer with his second goal of the season. At 17:17, Hershey's Anthony Peluso found Albert on a sub-goal line feed, and Albert buried the puck past Lehigh Valley goaltender Dustin Tokarski's glove to knot the contest.

Only 1:47 later, Lehigh Valley controlled the momentum and scored in the final minute of the period. After the Bears were unable to exit their defensive zone, Adam Comrie blasted a shot through the five-hole of Copley to reclaim a Phantoms' lead.

Lehigh Valley added two more goals in the middle stanza and opened a 4-1 hole for Hershey at second intermission. At 4:13, Lehigh Valley's Mike Vecchione snapped a shot past the glove hand of Copley to extend his club's lead to 3-1. The goal ended the night for Copley, who surrendered three goals on 14 shots.

Vitek Vanecek came in relief for the first time this season, and despite several strong saves from the goaltender, Lehigh Valley tallied at 14:47. Following a successful Lehigh Valley penalty kill, Phil Varone added his eighth goal of the season in transition, beating Vanecek over the glove at 15:47 to make it 4-1 Phantoms.

Lehigh Valley scored 1:24 into the third period, as Greg Carey tallied his 13th goal of the season on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush to push Lehigh Valley's lead to 5-1.

Looking like they were down and out, Hershey started a comeback. Only 30 seconds following Carey's goal, the Bears cut their deficit to 5-2 courtesy of Lucas Johansen's fourth goal of the season. Then, at 6:10, Herhsey's Mathias Bau crept into the slot and buried a sub-goal line pass from Simpson to suddenly pull the Bears within two.

In the final three minutes, Vanecek vacated the Bears' net in exchange for the extra attacker, and the move paid dividends. At 17:32, Aaron Ness blasted a center point shot past Tokarski to pull Hershey within one.

Despite a 6-on-4 power play in the final minute with Vanecek back on the bench, Hershey was unable to find the equalizer. The Phantoms outshot Hershey 26-23 in the win. The loss was Hershey's third at the PPL Center this season, and dropped the Bears to 11-11-0-3 on the season.


Load comments