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Moulson’s Late Goal Lifts Bears Over Penguins

Moulson’s Late Goal Lifts Bears Over Penguins

HERSHEY, Pa. – Whenever the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears meet as they did on Sunday afternoon, it’s always a heated affair. The two teams have been rivals for so long and have played plenty of intense matchups with each other, and coming off of a 3-1 Hershey win on Friday night in Wilkes-Barre, the rematch was everything and then some. The Bears skated off to another 3-1 win at Giant Center thanks to a late power-play goal by captain Matt Moulson and some insurance by Shane Gersich on the empty net in a very physical game between two bitter rivals.

The Bears opened the scoring quickly, as Brian Pinho netted his third goal of the season on a redirect from a Martin Fehervary point shot just 18 seconds into the game to give Hershey the early edge. It’s the sixth point of the season for Pinho since being assigned to Hershey last Wednesday. Phil Maillet earned a secondary assist on the tally, extending his point streak to three games and giving him eight points (one goal, seven assists) in three games played as the duo combined with Moulson to do a lot of damage to opponents of late.

After a fairly clean first period, things would start to heat up between the two teams. Wilkes-Barre would tie the game at one when Tim Schaller would bury a perfect feed from Nick Schilkey on an odd-man rush, the only miss for Pheonix Copley on the day, making 26 saves for the game and a hectic second period. Things would get physical in the third after a few players threw their weight around, notably Hershey forward Kale Kessy, who had two big hits. Things would boil over a bit when Penguins forward Josh Currie hit Pinho coming over the blue line, and Martin Fehervary dropped the gloves in his first AHL fight.

In a pivotal moment of the game, the Penguins would be forced to defender after taking a too many men on the ice call with under five minutes remaining in the game. Moulson would score what proved to be the game-winner on a scramble in front of Max Legace (27 saves) that saw the puck narrowly cross the goal line. It was Moulson’s sixth goal of the season in a particularly good recent stretch for the Bears’ special teams unit, as Hershey scored on a similarly big power play in Friday’s game. Hershey has a power-play goal in each of its last three games and blanked the Penguins in the past two games on the penalty kill with a cumulative ten penalties in the home-and-home set.

The Bears were able to add some insurance late in the game when Gersich was able to win the battle for the loose puck on its way to the empty net. It’s the second goal in the past three games for the third year Bear, and finished off this game for the fourth straight win for Hershey.

The win improves the Bears’ record to 11-4-2-0 through 17 games played, good for first in points in the North Division with 24, but the team sits at third due to points percentage. The Penguins’ record drops to 5-7-3-1 for 14 points, and Hershey has taken four of five matchups between the teams this season.

Hershey is in action on Wednesday to end off the month with a midweek matchup in Lehigh Valley, while Wilkes-Barre will be in Binghamton on that same day.

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