HERSHEY, Pa. – Seth Griffith scored two goals and set up three others for the Providence Bruins, who broke open a tight game and went on to a 6-3 victory over the Hershey Bears on Sunday evening in front of a crowd of 10,226 at GIANT Center.
Griffith put the Bruins in front at 10:02 of the opening period, ripping a one-timer fed to him from Matt Irwin off the left post and past Justin Peters for a power play goal.
The Bears then evened the score after hard work from their grinding line. Liam O’Brien got himself into position against a Bruins defender, collected a short pass from Garrett Mitchell who was behind the net, and forced a shot in off the crossbar behind Zane McIntyre at 13:58.
Moments later, Hershey took the lead on a line rush started by Sean Collins. His pass sent Dustin Gazley flying down the left wing, and Gazley’s centering pass bounced to Travis Boyd for the put-back at 16:19.
But Griffith would be the recipient of a bunch of bounces at 18:53, and before Peters could lunge back to his right, Griffith deposited a shot into the net to tie the score.
The Bears had what appeared to be the go-ahead goal while they worked a second-period power play. Collins tracked a bouncing puck down to the ice and slammed it home, but the play was waved off as officials thought that the puck was in the glove of McIntyre.
Providence would ultimately take a 3-2 lead when Frank Vatrano whirled around along the left boards and sent a low shot into the net at 17:49.
Ryan Stanton brought the crowd to life when he sent a sharp-angle shot over the shoulder of McIntyre at 2:21 of the third period, tying the score.
But the Bruins would capitalize on a giveaway. Justin Hickman picked up the puck and ripped a shot past Peters at 5:47, giving the visitors a 4-3 lead.
Vatrano’s second of the game made it a 5-3 score, a power play goal at 14:11. Tommy Cross capped off the scoring with an empty-net tally from center ice at 18:43.
Peters made 27 saves but fell to 12-7-6 on the season. McIntyre improved to 9-6-5 with 19 saves.
The Bears travel north to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday, February 23. Face-off from Mohegan Sun Arena is slated for 7:05 PM. Fans may catch the broadcast beginning with the M&C Foreign Car Parts pre-game show at 6:25 on the Bears Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-AM 1460, via the Washington Capitals App at Caps Radio 24/7, via the iHeartRadio App (Fox Sports 1460 Harrisburg), and online at CapsRadio247.com or FoxSports1460.com. Fans may watch the game for a small fee at AHLLive.com.
Hershey returns home to take on the Utica Comets on Sunday, February 28 at 5:00 PM. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Bears pint glass courtesy of Labatt Blue. Fans are also encouraged to bring items for the Community Aid clothing drive. Individual tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: Riley Barber extended his point streak to a team-high nine games with his assist (9-9-18)…The Bears scratched RW Chris Brown, C Carter Camper, LW Paul Carey and D Christian Djoos…The Bruins scratched D Brett Bellemore, D Chris Casto, F Andrew Cherniwchan, RW Brian Ferlin, G Malcolm Subban and D Frankie Simonelli.