HERSHEY — Mathias Bau scored twice, and the Hershey Bears won their third straight game away from Giant Center, defeating the Providence Bruins 4-1 on Friday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The win for Hershey puts the club above the .500 mark for the first time this regular season, as they now sit at 8-7-0-2.
Only 2:22 into the contest, Riley Barber scored on Hershey's first of six power play opportunities. Barber crept into the low-slot and bolted a quick shot past Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre into the cage to give the Bears' the lead. Liam O'Brien and Chris Bourque assisted.
At the 5:57 mark of the first period, Bau scored his fourth goal of the season, and first even-strength goal in his American Hockey League career. After an athletic, sub-goal line pass from Tyler Graovac, Bau beat McIntyre from point-blank range to double Hershey's lead.
Bau added another goal in the middle period to extend the Bears' lead to 3-0. At the 12:19 mark, Anthony Peluso displayed great vision with the puck from the half-boards. On the backhand, Peluso fed a streaking Bau, who stormed through the slot area and snapped his second goal of the night past McIntyre. The tally was the lone mark for either team in the second period, giving Hershey a lead after 40 minutes for the seventh time this season.
Providence broke Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley's bid for a shutout only 2:16 into the third period. Following an intercepted outlet pass, Justin Hickman walked in on a breakaway and beat Copley to the glove-side to put the Bruins within striking distance.
Hershey's penalty kill unit continued to find success, with three more kills, rounding out a 6-for-6 performance. Hershey killed off two 5-on-3 power plays for Providence in the win.
Late in the game, Graovac added his first goal as a Bear, capitalizing with the Bruins' net vacated. At 19:54, Graovac spun away from a Providence defender and slid a backhander into the net to seal a 4-1 victory. Bau picked up his third point with an assist.
Copley stopped 31 shots to earn a fifth consecutive win between the pipes for the Bears. He improves to 5-0-0-1 on the season. Providence outshot Hershey 32-25.