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Bears Earn Revenge Over Islanders

#AHL | @TheHersheyBears wanted some revenge after being blanked by the @AHLIslanders on Teddy Bear Toss night, and they got it Friday with the help of an All-Star, all too fitting for All-Star weekend. @FPHBears has the recap.

Bears Earn Revenge Over Islanders

BRIDGEPORT, Ct. – The Hershey Bears served up some payback to the Bridgeport Islanders at Total Mortgage Arena on Friday night less than a week removed from being blanked on Teddy Bear Toss Night by Jakub Skarek and company. There’d be no clean sheet in the rematch as the Bears got goals from four different players to take two big points on the road and snap a two-game winless skid with the 4-1 victory. Hunter Shepard earned the win with 20 stops while Skarek took the loss with 29 saves.

Although the teams were scoreless over the first period, the Bears would get off the schneid against Skarek and the Islanders moments into the second period as Riley Sutter scored his first goal in 37 games on the rebound to get Hershey in front. Sutter’s goal was a culmination of hard work from the fourth line, forechecking to get possession followed by a nice deflection by Beck Malenstyn with the rebound landing on the tap of Sutter in front, who quickly put the puck back through Skarek for the lead.

Hershey doubled their lead a few minutes later as Connor McMichael remains red-hot with his 11th goal of the year on a nifty deflection driving to the net on a feed from Garrett Pilon. McMichael fought off a defender on the way to the net and chipped it by Skarek. He has 22 points in 30 games since joining the Bears from the Washington Capitals.

Bridgeport cut back into the game with Chris Terry’s shorthanded goal, his 14th of the season, burying a rebound of Kyle MacLean’s shot to make it a one-goal game. The Bears responded with a power play goal of their own, though, with All-Star forward Ethen Frank lasering a shot along the ice through a screen to the corner for his 21st goal of the season. Hershey struck just once in five opportunities while Bridgeport came up empty in four tries for the game.

If there was any doubt about the score in this game, the Bears sealed the deal early on with Malenstyn’s fourth goal of the season on a deflection from a point shot by Aaron Ness. Sutter, who has been a mainstay in the lineup in an impressive campaign on special teams, earned the second assist on the goal to join McMichael as the only multiple point scorers in the game.

Hershey clamped down on the game and took two important points to keep pace with the Providence Bruins, who took a 4-2 decision on the road in Lehigh Valley in other AHL action on Friday night. The Bears have won four of the five games in their season series with the Islanders, with one more matchup taking place in April.

Hershey returns home for their last game before the American Hockey League’s All-Star break when they host Lehigh Valley on Saturday night, while Bridgeport visits the Springfield Thunderbirds in other Atlantic Division action.

Frank, along with Mike Vecchione and head coach Todd Nelson, will represent the Bears in the All-Star festivities after Hershey’s game on Saturday.

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