Sunday, October 26, 2014

Copley's Second Consecutive Shutout Powers Bears

Sometimes I like the third game of these three game weekend stints. Usually you'll hear that the teams are extra tired, the play isn't as crisp and more mistakes are made. This all can be true. But occasionally that's a good thing.

The less structured play can allow players to be more creative against a team than say on Friday or Saturday night, when the opposition might be on its defensive game. And sometimes that additional creativity is rewarded more in a Sunday night game. Which can make for a more overall exciting game.

This is one of my biggest complaints about the current progression and state of the NHL. The systems employed by NHL teams in general are so structured (both offensively and defensively) that players are always in position and major errors rarely made. It has lost some of the "chaotic creativity" that comes from a looser system and play.

The tiredness was evident for both the Bears and Phantoms. But the Bears had one of their nicest goals of the young season when Kennedy skated into the left corner and threw a pass out to Philip Cornet in the slot. While a pass like that might have been intercepted on a Friday or Saturday night game, Cornet was able to handle the pass and, as he was being tripped up and falling to the ice, chipped the puck past Lehigh Valley goalie Anthony Stolarz. As Scott Stuccio mentioned during the broadcast, Cornet was falling and in the air when he knocked that puck in. Nice highlight reel goal.

However, it was Pheonix Copley who would end up being the star of the game with his second consecutive shutout. Copley wasn't overly tested as the Phantoms were once again held to only single digit shots in each period. But the Hershey goalie was sharp when Lehigh Valley had some good chances late in the third. Most notably the glove save on Darroll Powe's semi-breakaway and left pad save on Scott Laughton right in around the goal.

Overall, this was a fine ending to the up and down weekend for the Bears. And to get the first two wins at Giant Center this season is extra special in ushering in this new era of sorts to the hometown crowd. Hershey now heads back out on the road and won't be home until the weekend of November 8-9 when they'll face the Hartford Wolf Pack.

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