Desperate for a win to close out the weekend, the Hershey Bears battled the Worcester Sharks for a Sunday matinee at the DCU Center. Following two crushing losses in Connecticut and Manchester, Garrett Mitchell received first star honors in a 4-1 victory over the Sharks.
It was a game where most puck bounces went in the Bears’ direction, and lady luck chipped in to give Hershey their 31st win of the campaign. Dany Sabourin earned his first start of the weekend, and looked nothing short of stellar by stopping 32 shots.
Patrick McNeill opened the scoring only 5:22 into the contest just moments after Hershey’s first penalty kill of the night. Making his debut with the Chocolate and White, Joey Crabb set up a McNeill one-timer to break the goal column early in Worcester.
Only 3:06 later, McNeill earned a helper by setting up Matt Pope’s second goal of the season. The tally came via a fortunate bounce for the Bears, as Sharks’ goaltender Harri Sateri left his crease to play a loose puck in the trapezoid behind his cage. Pope received a lucky bounce to the doorstep of the net, where he gave Hershey a 2-0 lead.
Then at the 13:18 mark of the middle frame, Casey Wellman scored to give his club a 3-0 advantage. Thoughts of Deja Vu began creeping into the minds of Hershey spectators. But thankfully, unlike the night before, the foot remained on the gas pedal leading to a “W”.
Worcester’s Derek Joslin broke Dany Sabourin’s bid for his first shutout of the season with 13:41 remaining in regulation. However Garrett Mitchell only 2:10 later washed out all fear of second collapse in as many nights with his 13th goal of the year. Mitchell stormed the net front with vengeance and lifted a shot past Sateri to cap a 4-1 Hershey win in New England.
The Bears will now return home to prepare for back-to-back tilts next weekend against the Albany Devils and the Providence Bruins. Saturday, Graham Mink, Christian Hanson and Chris Bourque will all return to Giant Center to represent different Bear.