The Hershey Bears recorded their 3,000th franchise win on Tuesday afternoon, defeating the Bridgeport Islanders 4-3 in overtime at the Total Mortgage Arena. Hershey is the first team in American Hockey League history to record 3,000 wins and only the fifth professional hockey franchise to accomplish the feat, joining the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (3,492), Boston Bruins (3,285), Toronto Maple Leafs (3,045) and Detroit Red Wings (3,015). With the win, the Bears he improved the club’s record to 31-26-5-4 and scored a seven-game slip on the road.
Hershey opened the scoring in the first period with network traffic established close to Bridgeport goalkeeper Cory Schneider. A Kody Clark shot whistled past Schneider with Drake Rymsha placing a screen in front. The shots after 20 minutes were even 10-10 with the Bears maintaining the advantage of a goal.
The islanders responded with a two in the center frame to keep an advantage early in the third period. Kyle MacLean finished a tic-tac-toe pass game at 10:28 for a draw. At 16:13, Jeff Kubiak scored his eighth goal of the season for Bridgeport. Second half shot totals were 26-17 Hershey.
Bears played hockey as from behind in the third period to take a 3-2 away advantage. Eddie Wittchow scored his first goal of the campaign after a perfect 3-on-2 run. At 4:28, Wittchow unleashed a perfect shot from the left flank for his first goal scorer since the 2020-21 regular season finale.
Brett Leason generated his fourth goal of the season at 9:57 to give Hershey the second lead of the day. Aliaksei Protas and Alex Alexeyev earned the helpers while Leason made a perfect shot from the right. But before the regulation expired, Chris Terry scored his 25th goal of the season at 3.15pm to finish the game 3-3.
In Overtime to Sudden Death, Kody Clark made his mark once again with a historic goal that will hit Hershey Bears and American Hockey League history books. Beck Malenstyn and Lucas Johansen setup, Clark beat Schneider with a perfect backhand between the leg pads at 2:13.
The final shots on goal were 41-28 Hershey. The Bears went 0 for 4 on power play and was not charged with a single penalty. The Hershey Bears get back into action Friday 4 April to kick off three games in three nights. Hershey will conclude their six-game road swing with a 7:05 pm disc drop against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch will have the call of action from the PPL Center on Bears Radio network.
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