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Shepard, Frank lead Bears to dominant Game 2 win over distraught Phantoms

(Hershey Bears/X)

After a hard-fought Game 1 loss on Wednesday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms looked to avenge themselves and even their Atlantic Division Semifinals series against the Hershey Bears in Game 2.

Despite outshooting Hershey 31-16 and earning plenty of quality scoring chances, Hunter Shepard held them to just 1 goal and Ethen Frank scored twice to lead the way in a 5-1 blowout at Giant Center on Saturday.

Henrik Rybinski, Alex Limoges, and Hendrix Lapierre also chipped in for the Bears, while Hunter McDonald recorded his first career professional for Lehigh Valley in the loss. Cal Petersen made just 11 saves on 15 shots faced, though the loss can’t be solely blamed on him.

The Phantoms’ power play went 0-for-3 and the team took 7 penalties. Despite only allowing 1 power play goal, Lehigh Valley looked incredibly undisciplined and in disarray during the game.


Ethen Frank opened the scoring just 4:47 into the game on a breakaway and roofed the puck on the backhand by Cal Petersen to make it 1-0 Bears.

Frank wasn’t done yet and he nabbed his second goal of the night after jamming home a loose puck in the crease to double Hershey’s lead just 3:31 later.

The Phantoms had to dig deep early on and despite taking two penalties in the heart of the period from Bobby Brink and Rhett Gardner, they found a way to claw back.

Hunter McDonald scored his first professional goal after he found a rebound in the slot and fired it by Hunter Shepard to make it a 2-1 game and give Lehigh Valley life.


The Phantoms used the momentum from McDonald’s late goal and utterly dominated play to begin the second period. They essentially Harlem Globetrottered their way around the offensive zone and applied a ton of pressure, but Shepard and the Bears survived.

Hershey soon after went down the ice and restored their two-goal lead after Henrik Rybinski tipped a Bogdan Trineyev shot past Petersen. The Phantoms goalie wanted goaltender inference called after Matt Strome created havoc in front, but the officials had none of it.

Lehigh Valley had a chance to get back within a goal again after Alex Limoges was sent to the box for delay of game, but the Phantoms couldn’t capitalize on the power play.

Hershey earned a power play of their own shortly after as Garrett Wilson entered the box for interference, but the Phantoms survived that one. Unfortunately, they literally poked the Bears too many times and they finally bit them on another penalty right after Wilson was let out.

Cooper Marody’s hooking minor cost the Phantoms as Limoges scored just 12 seconds into the power play to give Hershey a 4-1 lead with 4:36 remaining.

The parade to the penalty box continued as Emil Andrae was called for holding with 3:50 left in the period, but thankfully the Phantoms killed the penalty and left the period down by three.


Lehigh Valley continued to claw away and fire anything they could at Shepard, but the Bears’ goaltender remained sharp.

Wilson took another penalty to put Hershey back on the power play, but the Phantoms lived to tell about it before Trineyev and McDonald each received matching roughing minors. The teams played four-a-side hockey for two minutes and then the Phantoms earned a crucial power play after Ivan Miroshnichenko was called for holding. Despite more quality looks, Shepard and the Bears held the Phantoms at bay.

Hendrix Lapierre put Lehigh Valley on another power play after he slashed Louie Belpedio, and the Phantoms pulled Petersen later on to give themselves an abbreviated 6-on-4. Despite another strong flurry, Lehigh Valley was unsuccessful in scoring and Lapierre stuffed home the empty-netter to make it 5-1.

Afterwards, all hell broke loose behind the Phantoms’ cage in a brawl that saw 11 players receive 10-minute misconducts. Limoges, Pierrick Dubé, Mike Vecchione, Logan Day, and Hardy Häman Aktell were gone for Hershey, while Gardner, Belpedio, McDonald, JR Avon, Zayde Wisdom, and Brendan Furry hit the showers early for Lehigh Valley.

Jimmy Huntington and Ronnie Attard then went at it at center ice with three seconds remaining, and after everything cleared up, the game was over as the Hershey Bears soundly defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5-1, to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the series.

3 STARS OF THE GAME: 1) Ethen Frank – HER, 2) Hunter Shepard – HER, 3) Joe Snively – HER


Lehigh Valley will host Game 3 on Wednesday at PPL Center in Allentown at 7:05 pm ET as they look to fight off elimination from the Bears.

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Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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