Furious Third Period Frenzy Not Enough in HersheyNov 10, 2018
HERSHEY, Pa. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (7-3-0-2) scored a goal late in the third period and tallied 33 shots on goal to their opponent’s 17, but it was not enough as they fell to the Hershey Bears (7-7-0-1) at the Giant Center on Saturday night by a final of 3-2.
Six minutes into the first period, Hershey’s power play connected for the first time all season on home ice, as Jayson Megna wristed one over Sam Montembeault from the right faceoff circle to make it 1-0 at 6:46 of the opening period.
The Bears power play would not be content with just one, though. On their second power play of the night, the Bears capitalized again, as Garrett Pilon picked up a rebound from a point shot by Riley Barber that deflected off Montembeault. Former Thunderbird Mike Sgarbossa had the other assist to make it 2-0 at 12:13.
Two minutes later, Springfield momentarily stopped the Bears’ momentum as Julian Melchiori hit a streaking Jayce Hawryluk in stride through center ice. Hawryluk unleashed a slapper from the right circle, beating Ilya Samsonov over his glove side shoulder and cutting the lead to 2-1 at 14:17.
The two clubs played a scoreless second, with the Thunderbirds leaving two power play chances on the table in their efforts to tie the score. Hershey nearly got a third power play goal with just over eight minutes to play in the second period. A Connor Hobbs point shot beat Montembeault on the blocker side, but Ian McCoshen brought it back just before it could cross the goal line.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period, despite mustering 15 shots between them.
The Thunderbirds put themselves in a pickle late in the middle period when Paul Thompson and McCoshen took minor penalties less than 30 seconds apart, putting Springfield down two men for a combined 1:35, including 1:22 of action to start the final period.
24 seconds into the third period, the Bears capitalized on the two-man advantage and took a 3-1 lead. After playing catch just ahead of the offensive blue line, Riley Barber slapped home his fourth goal of the season from the left faceoff circle on a perfect feed by Sgarbossa.
With 15:29 to play in the third period, Anthony Greco marched into the offensive zone on a mini-break and took a shot on Samsonov, but was denied on a sliding stop by the 21-year-old goaltender.
At 10:10, Henrik Borgstrom marched into the Hershey defensive zone with two defenders on his back and took a shot on goal that Samsonov initially stopped. Joel Lowry poked at the puck that laid between Samsonov’s pads and it eventually trickled to Thomas Schemitsch who knocked it home for his first goal of the season.
With 45 seconds left in the game the Thunderbirds had a chance to score on a yawning net, but Samsonov got his elbow on the puck as it was about to cross the goal line with Lowry and Thompson both swinging at the loose disc. The play was reviewed and the call was confirmed.
After falling for a third straight road contest, Springfield returns home for three games on home ice as they face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday for the T-Birds 101 School Day Game presented by MassMutual and Fontaine Brothers.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.