Tyler Lewington already had a connection to Tom Gilbert when the veteran NHL defenseman arrived in Hershey. Actually, it was better than a connection: it was a pair of Gilbert’s skates.

“I bought a used pair of his skates when I was younger,” said Lewington during the Bears locker cleanout day. “He’s a guy everyone looks to; he’s got a calming factor. If you’re having a bad game or whatever the case may be, he puts you at ease. Off the ice, he was the best. We called him Uncle Gibby.”

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When goaltender Pheonix Copley was injured in game four of the Atlantic Divison Finals Friday night in Providence, both Bears players and fans alike held their breath. Copley had been stellar in the first two games on the road in the series, but now the Chocolate and White turn to Vitek Vanecek as Copley will miss game five due to his injury.

Vanecek, who has not allowed a goal in his last 104 minutes played, will get the nod on Sunday. The 21-year-old netminder faced nine shots after replacing Copley with only 42 seconds remaining in the second period.

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Stan Galiev celebrates with Travis Boyd and teammates after Boyd’s overtime winning goal against Providence Sunday night at Giant Center. (All photos: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

Troy Mann said in his postgame interview following the Hershey Bears’ 3-1 loss in Game 1 that it wasn’t how much your power play scores, but when they score. That turned out to be the turning point of Game 2, as Christian Djoos scored in the late moments of a power play with 2:30 on the clock in the third period to tie the game at two apiece. Travis Boyd completed the comeback less than six minutes into overtime, and the Bears took the second game of their series with the Providence Bruins by a final score of 3-2.

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Photo: @TheHersheyBears

With eleven minutes remaining in the third period, it looked like the end for the Hershey Bears. The team had surrendered an early 1-0 lead and trailed for the first time in the game to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and in the midst of a critical last five games for Hershey, the team needed a comeback.

The Bears needed a perfect goal to solve Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon, and they got it with a goal five minutes later from Riley Barber. The game would go to overtime when Travis Boyd got around the defense and roofed a shot that went in and out in a flash to get the Bears a critical 3-2 win.

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Tom Gilbert is joined by teammates after scoring the eventual game winning goal for Hershey on Wednesday night against Binghamton (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

The Hershey Bears hosted the Binghamton Senators Wednesday night before a sold-out Giant Center, and behind goals from Hubert Labrie, Tom Gilbert, and Riley Barber, Hershey took a 3-1 victory tonight. Pheonix Copley backstopped the Bears to the win.

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Madison Bowey Poised for Return to Hershey Lineup

On March 16, 2017, in News, by Kyle Mace

It’s a week Madison Bowey would like to forget. After spending Christmas back home with his family in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 21-year-old defenseman had issues getting back to Central Pennsylvania with flight issues preventing his return in time for a game against Lehigh Valley on December 26. “Definitely not the way I wanted to start my second half,” said Bowey after Bears practice Wednesday. “I was geared up and ready to go for the Syracuse game, but getting injured there on my third shift was pretty tough.”

Despite wearing kevlar socks and a bunga pad, Syracuse Crunch defenseman Luke Witkowski’s skate sliced the front tendon on Bowey’s left leg in a freak accident. While an injury like that could cause a player to focus more on skate blades, it’s not something Bowey is too worried about. “When I’m playing I’m not thinking about it. I know watching games – past games and games on TV – you notice more skates now and how close they can get to flesh and could cause an injury. But if you’re playing, you can’t really think about it.”

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