Barber Nets Hat-Trick, Bears Rally Past Pens
(Wilkes-Barre, PA) - Riley Barber notched a hat-trick and rallied the Hershey Bears to a thrilling 4-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The win extended Hershey's win streak to 10 games, and set a new franchise record with points in 16 consecutive games.
After a scoreless opening period, Barber opened the scoring for the Bears. Zach Trotman and Joseph Blandisi were penalized 30 seconds apart early in the second period, and Hershey hit pay-dirt on the man-advantage. Three seconds after the ensuing 5-on-3 turned into a 5-on-4, Barber blasted a shot underneath Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry at 2:47 for his 22nd of the season.
Later in the second period, Ryan Haggerty answered for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a pair of goals on Vitek Vanecek. At 9:08, Haggerty avoided pressure along the right wing and walked into the high-slot. A quick release beat a screened Vanecek to even the score at 1-1. Haggerty scored his 15th of the season at 14:58 after a flubbed clearing attempt along the half-boards near the blue line. Hershey trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes 21-20 lead in shots.
Into the third period, the Chocolate and White wasted little time to draw even. Only 55 seconds into the third, Jayson Megna tied the game at 2-2 on a nifty breakaway goal. On a 2-on-1 rush, Liam O'Brien feathered a flat, head-man pass to Megna slipping behind the defense. He buried a forehand-backhand move off the bottom of the cross-bar and into the cage for his 13th goal of the season.
In the later stages of regulation, Barber lifted the Bears to a lead with late-game heroics. Forechecking in the offensive end, Barber went bar-down on Jarry after receiving a crisp feed from Mike Sgarbossa at the 16:19 mark. The Pens burned their lone timeout and benched Jarry in favor for the extra attacker in the final minute. Barber scored the hat-trick into the empty net at 19:57 to lift Hershey to a 4-2 win. It's his second career hat-trick, and first since Jan. 30, 2016 against the Syracuse Crunch.
The Bears were 0-11-0-0 when trailing on the road after 40 minutes before tonight's dramatic win. Hershey improved their overall record to 30-20-0-3. The Chocolate and White return to the ice tomorrow, Feb. 23 versus the Rockford IceHogs at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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