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Thunderbirds Down Bears in OT

Hershey continues to collect points, but now has lost three of five games to go beyond regulation this season

Thunderbirds Down Bears in OT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Overtime is becoming a recurring theme for the Hershey Bears in their last few games, with the Chocolate and White playing the extra session for their fifth straight game Friday night. Unfortunately, Hershey fell in overtime by a 3-2 count when Sam Anas cut around a defender and beat Zach Fucale for the extra point. Hershey continues to collect points, but now has lost three of five games to go beyond regulation this season. Springfield goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 32 saves on 34 shots while Fucale made 19 of 22.

Hershey had to overcome adversity, missing key personnel due to recall and losing both Brian Pinho and Eddie Wittchow to injury over the course of the game. Two players came off the injury list with immediate impact as Kody Clark buried a rebound off a net mouth scrum alongside Riley Sutter to give the Bears the early 1-0 lead. Springfield rebounded just over two minutes later when Nathan Todd was the recipient of a great feed from Matthew Peca to even the count at one.

Springfield took the lead courtesy of a bit of a break for Nolan Stevens, son of former NHLer and coach John Stevens. His shot trickled past Fucale for just the most brief of moments and snuck over the goal line despite help from Michal Kempny to give the home team the edge in the second period. However, with time running out in the third period and the Thunderbirds clamping down, the Bears were able to even the count by a goal for Cody Franson, scoring a point in his fourth straight game after some hard work by the visitors to take the game to sudden death. Anas tallied in the extra session for his first goal of the season for the win.

The Thunderbirds remain unbeaten in regulation and extend their record to 5-0-2-0. Hershey earns their tenth point of the season and settling for a record of 4-1-2-1 in eight games. The Bears lose more key players after seeing Pinho go down after a hard hit in the second period left him clutching at his arm, and Wittchow not too long afterward. Neither player returned in the third period, leaving Hershey in a bit of a bind if they aren’t able to play the rest of the weekend. Although Hershey does have Mason Morelli and Kale Kessy available, the task is much more difficult for the team throughout the rest of the weekend. Good news came after the game, where defender Bobby Nardella was assigned to the Bears after starting the season injured.

Hershey will have to deal with the Providence Bruins on Saturday, who are fresh off a 6-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where they went three for five on the power play. The Bruins’ sticks heated up with their best offensive performance of the season, and the Bears will be pressed to defend as well as they have over the last few games. Hershey will get another crack at Springfield on Sunday, when the two teams meet up once more at Giant Center to settle the score.

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