On Saturday night, missed opportunities haunted the Hershey Bears against the Worcester Sharks leading to their tenth regulation set back of the season. A factor towards the defeat was having only a 1-for-7 success rate on the man-advantage, dropping their ranking to 24th in the 30 team American Hockey League.
The power play struggles continued into the next night against the Sharks, but the end result differed in Hershey’s 4-0 win.
After fanning on two power play chances in the opening period, Josh Brittain capitalized while even strength in the final minute of the period. Brittain was left all alone in front of the net and was connected with a perfect pass from teammate Peter LeBlanc.
Shots at the end of 20 minutes were 13-7 in favor of the Bears.
Second period, only 3:35 in, John Mitchell added an early insurance marker for Hershey. He crashed the net and took three jabs at a loose puck in the blue paint before elevating it into the cage. It was a goal generated off going to the net hard with grit and relentless determination.
Goalie David Leggio put Hershey on his shoulders for the remainder of the period, stopping 22 Worcester shots in the second period alone, including a lengthy 5-on-3 disadvantage. The 2-0 lead stood heading into second intermission.
Nicolas Deschamps added an early third period goal marking a five game point streak. It was his second goal in as many nights against the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate.
Mitchell added a shorthanded, empty net goal and Leggio continued his magnificence making a total of 44 saves in his first shutout as a Hershey Bear.
The Hershey Bears leapfrogged three teams in the Eastern Conference standings with the win– Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Adirondack Phantoms and Syracuse Crunch. The Chocolate and White now stand at ninth in the conference heading into the winter holidays.