HARTFORD, Ct – It was a wild game of scoring in Hartford between the Wolf Pack and the Hershey Bears that saw the home team skate away with a 7-3 decision courtesy of a five-goal third period. Lauri Pajuniemi and Jonny Brodzinski had two goals each in that period to erase a 3-2 Bears lead en route to the final score. Zach Fucale suffered the loss in his return to the Hershey crease, stopping 21-of-28 shots, while Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves on 34 shots to earn the win in goal.
It was a bizarre tale at the XL Center in this game to say the least. The way the game started was less than bizarre, however, as Anthony Greco opened the scoring just over six minutes in off of a great feed from Braden Schneider. Hartford doubled their lead when Patrick Khodorenko walked in with a wrist shot that beat Fucale for a 2-0 lead and finished with a 9-5 shot advantage after one period of play.
The stat line for each team in the second period seemed to dictate a storyline that played out in the exact opposite fashion. Hartford dominated its opposition in the second period, most recently on Wednesday in the win over the Bridgeport Islanders, and Hershey has struggled in recent times in the second period. The Bears flipped the script with a three-goal second period, getting goals from Shane Gersich, Mike Sgarbossa, and Dylan McIlrath tallied in that order to turn a deficit into a 3-2 lead after two. Hershey seemed to have turned the game around at this point after two periods.
The Wolf Pack appeared to have left their kids gloves in the locker room after two periods and flexed their offensive muscle in the third period. Hartford scored three goals in less than three minutes, two from Pajuniemi and one from P.C. Labrie, and followed that up with two from Brodzinski to reach what would be the final score with over five minutes still to play in regulation. Brodzinski’s second goal was a shorthanded tally, the third such goal the Bears have allowed already this season, as the Wolf Pack blew the wheels off the Bears in the final frame. Hartford skated to its fourth straight win and third in four nights, while Hershey has fallen for the fifth time in seven nights.
Shane Gersich and Dylan McIlrath both scored their first goals of the season, but the Hershey Bears dropped a 7-3 road decision tonight in Hartford. Here are the highlights. #HBH pic.twitter.com/Z6ek9JoACh
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) November 21, 2021
The Bears had some good news on their injury front of late, as word came down that Brett Leason was assigned to Hershey from the Washington Capitals despite being too late to join the team for Saturday’s loss. Defenders Cody Franson and Eddie Wittchow returned to the lineup after extended stays on the injury list, although defender Tobias Geisser was unable to dress due to a minor lower-body injury. Hershey returns home to rematch the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday for Hockey Fights Cancer Night, while Hartford is off until after Thanksgiving when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds on Black Friday.
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