Kelly Zajac also scores in Hershey debut but the club’s comeback attempt falls short
Hershey, PA – The Hershey Bears hockey team surrendered three goals in the first period and could never recover as they fell to the Providence Bruins 4-3 on Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Stanislav Galiev had two goals for Hershey in the loss. The two teams rematch tomorrow night in Providence at 7:05 p.m.
The Bruins opened Friday night’s game with a pair of goals in a span of just 1:14. Colby Cave snapped a wrist shot past Hershey netminder Parker Milner to make it 1-0 Providence at 4:18. At 5:32, the Bruins scored again on a two-on-one rush. Wayne Simpson setup up Jordan Szwarz for a one-time slap shot beat Milner to double the Bruins lead.
Hershey forward Kelly Zajac made the most of his Hershey debut, scoring on a rebound at the 9:29 mark on the first period to cut Providence’s lead to 2-1. Hershey cycled the puck in the offensive zone, and Tyler Lewington fired a slap shot that Garrett Mitchell defelected from the slot. Providence netminder Zane McIntrye made the save, but Zajac popped the rebound under the crossbar for his first goal with Hershey.
After an Alex Grant goal at the 16:49 mark on the first period, the Bruins opened the second period with a 3-1 lead. Providence’s Anton Blidh added to the lead, scoring just 1:08 into the second period. Cave sent a pass across to Blidh on the left wing, and the forward snapped a shot under the right arm of Milner to make it 4-1. The goal ended Milner’s night as he was replaced by Vitek Vanecek after surrendering four goals on 15 shots.
Hershey was able to cut into the Providence lead again at the 6:24 mark of the second period. Galiev scored his 13th goal of the season to make it 4-2 Bruins. Providence gave the puck away in the slot, and Galiev cut in on McIntyre. He lifted a shot over the outstretched goaltender for the unassisted goal.
Galiev would score his second goal of the game at the 2:31 mark of the third period to cut the lead to Providence lead to one. Former Bruin Paul Carey fed Galiev in the slot, and he lifted a shot over the glove of McIntyre for his third multi-goal game of the year.
Hershey finished with eight shots in the third, but were unable to find an equalizer. McIntyre earned the win to improve to 12-0-1 on the season. The Bruins outshot Hershey 33-32.
The Bears battle Providence again tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. before completing the weekend with a 3 p.m. game in Bridgeport on Sunday. All games may be heard on the Bears Radio Network and viewed on AHL Live. Hershey returns to home ice on Saturday, Feb. 25 to host the Toronto Marlies at 7 p.m. That evening is Ames Janitorial Services Rally Towel Night and Banking/Finance Night. Ticket information is available at HersheyBears.com.