Bears Get Better of T-Birds in HersheyFeb 8, 2020
HERSHEY, Pa. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (26-23-2-0) could not come up with answers after a two-goal second period burst from the Hershey Bears (30-15-2-3), who came away with a 5-2 win on Saturday night inside the Giant Center.
Springfield turned to Ryan Bednard in net, and the rookie had a great bounce-back first period just three nights after he was pulled after 20 minutes and three goals against in Hartford. This first frame was Bednard at his best, as he had answers for all 10 Hershey shots.
His best stop of the night and possibly of his young rookie season came with Hershey on a power play in the closing minutes of the period and Phil Maillet stationed on the back post with a seemingly open net. Instead, Bednard sprawled to his left and got the left-hand catching mitt up to snatch the goal away and get the game into the intermission scoreless.
The T-Birds’ power play had two chances in the first 12 minutes of the period to get an advantage, but Hershey’s Eastern Conference-best penalty kill did the job on two chances.
Hershey finally cracked Bednard at 2:40 when Axel Jonsson-Fjallby picked up a Springfield turnover on the right-wing side in center and snapped a shot under the crossbar to give the Bears the 1-0 lead.
After Maillet got snakebitten in the first, he got his payback at 9:23 of the second period after Christian Djoos deked into the high slot before finding Maillet on the right post for a tap-in to extend the lead to 2-0.
In desperate need of a jolt, Henrik Borgstrom provided just that for the T-Birds at 15:43 as he lifted a wrist shot from the high slot through a screen and past Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
The Bears then extended their lead with their first of two power play goals at 3:58 of the final period as Djoos beat Bednard under the crossbar from the right circle to up the Hershey advantage to 3-1.
Alex Alexeyev joined in on the defense scoring for Hershey when he slipped a left-circle wrist shot through Bednard at 12:08. Joel Lowry would answer that goal 35 seconds later to pick up his eighth point against Hershey in six games this season. The goal was Lowry’s seventh of the year.
With time winding down, Maillet got open at the back post and finished off a cross-crease feed from Alexeyev on the power play at 16:34 to put the finishing touches on the Bears’ win.
The T-Birds wrap up the five-game road trip as they fly to Charlotte for a pair of matchups with the Checkers on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 (6:00 p.m.) and Feb. 16 (1:00 p.m.).
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.