Bears take round one of intra-state battle


A three-goal third period propelled Hershey to a 4-2 road win over Philadelphia on Wednesday in Game 1 of their East Division semifinal series. Kyle Wilson and Andrew Gordon each posted a goal and an assist for the division-champion Bears, and rookie forward Oskar Osala netted the eventual game-winner.

Gordon gave Hershey the 1-0 lead with 4:42 to play in the opening period, but the Phantoms’ Jonathan Matsumoto, who tied for the team lead with 29 goals in the regular season, responded at 3:21 of the middle frame. The game remained 1-1 heading into the second intermission.

Wilson broke the deadlock with a power play marker just 1:31 into the third, and Osala scored his first career playoff goal at the 5:31 mark to extend the lead to 3-1.

Philadelphia’s Lasse Kukkonen cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:31, but Jay Beagle sealed the Bears victory by scoring with just under two minutes to play.

Hershey rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves on 32 shots to pick up the win in his postseason debut.

The Phantoms host Game 2 on Saturday before the series shifts to Hershey for Games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary).