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Bruins Blank Bears

Both teams came into play with a grueling schedule and hefty travel following games on Friday, and were fighting those factors as well as each other on the ice

HERSHEY, Pa. – It was a war in many ways between the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins at Giant Center on Saturday night. Both teams came into play with a grueling schedule and hefty travel following games on Friday, and the teams were fighting those factors as well as each other on the ice. Ultimately, a three-point night for Steven Fogarty and a 31-save performance by Jon Gillies proved to be the difference as the Bruins skated to a 3-0 win. Pheonix Copley suffered the loss in goal for Hershey with a 29-save performance.

Although the Bears had arguably the better start in the opening period of play, the Bruins did an excellent job of weathering the storm when they had to and frustrating the home team on the breakout. Providence was able to consistently grow their shot count throughout the game, and it led to the winning goal when Fogarty was the recipient of a perfect passing play, as Oskar Steen drew Hershey’s defense away from the net front and found Fogarty all alone for the goal. Providence doubled their lead late in the third when Steen and Jesper Froden teamed up to find Fogarty for his second goal, alone in the slot where he went bar down. Fogarty got the puck to Chris Wagner to cap off the scoring with the empty-net tally.

Fogarty and his line had a big night, earning seven points between three players on the night and continuing their momentum from their biggest win of the season on Friday in Wilkes-Barre. For Hershey, the loss snaps a five-game point streak but continues some of the negative trends over the course of that stint. The Bears took five penalties, and it’s been a trend of landing in the sin bin at the worst times that killed a lot of momentum, particularly with a few in the offensive zone. By virtue of the same token, the Bears had plenty of shots on goal and chances, but much as the team has had to deal with over the past few seasons, it seems as though the team has done their diligence to get chances but haven’t buried too many just yet.

The Bears were able to welcome back a familiar duo to Giant Center in former players Aaron Ness and Tyler Lewington, two players who were large parts of the organization for four seasons including a trip to the Calder Cup Finals. Fittingly, with both players skating with Providence as a tandem, they were able to be recognized together much in the same way that they played together during their time in Hershey. Ness joined the Bears as a free agent prior to the 2015-16 season, while Lewington joined the team after spending time in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays. Ness led the AHL in scoring among defensemen during the 2018-19 season.

Hershey is back in action on Sunday afternoon for a 3:00 tilt with the Springfield Thunderbirds, who are also experiencing a difficult set of three games like the Bears, and have a chance to earn three points on the weekend. Providence is off until Wednesday when they host the Thunderbirds at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

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