The Hershey Bears' offensive woes continued this week as the team lost two of its three games and managed only six total goals.
Given how much this team struggled before Chris Bourque left, seeing those struggles continue is no real surprise. But Hershey won't be very competitive if they do not get better goaltending than they had this week.
Vitek Vanecek got the start on Friday, but was chased after allowing four goals on 16 shots. Pheonix Copley got the start on Saturday, but Vanecek had to come on in relief after Copley allowed three goals on just five shots. When they finally got a strong performance on Sunday, 22 saves on 24 shots from Vanecek, the Bears won 3-2 over Rochester.
With how much the team has struggled to score this season, the Bears cannot afford this goalie carousel. They already have a tough hill to climb to get out of last place in the Atlantic Division and this certainly doesn't help.
Other prospect notes:
- Hershey's only win of the week Sunday was the only game leading goal scorer Riley Barber got on the scoresheet (1 goal, 2 assists). The Bears really need him to produce in Bourque's absence. He now has 17 goals on the season.
- Liam O'Brien returned to the lineup this week after missing three games with an upper-body injury. He scored a goal Saturday in Hershey's loss to Hartford.
- Beck Malenstyn exploded this week for five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in three games. It has been a difficult season for him as an injury limited him to only 27 games. Still, Malenstyn remains highly regarded by some scouts as evidenced by the fact a contending team like Swift Current was willing to trade for him midseason after he played only four games for Calgary, his now former team. This week must have been a relief for Malenstyn who had only 10 points leading into this week.
- Brian Pinho got a shoutout in Elliotte Friedman's 31 Thoughts this week: "Just some names to keep an eye on, with NHL team followed by school: Brian Pinho (Washington/Providence), Ryan Donato (Boston/Harvard), Anthony Angello (Pittsburgh/Cornell), Louis Belpedio (Minnesota/Miami), David Pope (Detroit/Nebraska-Omaha), CJ Suess (Winnipeg/Minnesota St.), Jake Evans (Montreal/Notre Dame), Brandon Hickey (Arizona/Boston University — traded to the Coyotes in the Mike Smith deal), Nolan Vesey (Toronto/Maine) and Nolan Stevens (St. Louis/Northeastern). The latter Nolan, John Stevens’s son, scored a beauty in the Beanpot final."