Bears Erase Early Deficit, Top Wolf Pack in Overtime
(Hershey, PA) - Tyler Lewington tallied twice, including the overtime game-winner to lift the Hershey Bears to a 5-4 victory over the Atlantic Division leading Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night at Giant Center. Christian Djoos recorded the secondary assist on Lewington's game-winner for his 100th career point as a Bear and in the American Hockey League. The Bears pull within two points of Hartford for the division lead with the victory.
Both teams wasted little time to crack the score sheet at Giant Center. Only 2:02 into the game, Beck Malenstyn fielded a short pass from Kody Clark on an offensive rush and beat Wolf Pack goaltender Adam Huska upstairs. Before the period concluded, Hartford answered back with three unanswered strikes on Pheonix Copley to grab a 3-1 advantage. Yegor Rykov scored his first AHL goal at 10:18 after burying a Boo Nieves cross-ice feed. Steven Fogarty capitalized for his 10th goal of the season at 14:17 off a Bears defensive miscue, and Matt Beleskey hit twine at 16:44. Shots after 20 minutes were 10-9 Hershey.
The "worst lead in hockey" of two goals lived to its cliché in the 2nd period, as Garrett Pilon wasted little time to cut into Hershey's deficit. Only 30 seconds into the frame, Pilon beat Huska on a short-side snipe to bring the score to 3-2. At 16:51, Shane Gersich evened the score after blasting home a sub-goal line feed from Erik Burgdoerfer. Shots after 40 minutes were a 24-17 Bears advantage with both teams even at a field goal apiece.
In the 3rd period, Tyler Lewington scored his first goal of the season following a poised individual effort by Liam O'Brien. Losing his stick on the offensive zone entry, O'Brien kicked the puck with his skates into the end boards, and continued to win a puck battle without a twig. O'Brien kicked it along to Pilon, who set up Lewington for a drive from the right face-off circle at 7:27. The Bears second lead of the night only lasted 90 seconds, as Vitali Kravtsov answered for Hartford at 9:03 to tie the game at 4-4.
In sudden-death overtime, it took Lewington less than a minute to become the hero. On a nifty give-and-go play with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Lewington blasted a shot from the right wing into the cage for Hershey's 24th win of the season. The Bears record improves to 24-13-2-3 after snapping a two-game losing skid.
The Hershey Bears return to action tomorrow night at 5 PM. The Bears play host to the Rochester Americans at Giant Center for the only time this season on PSECU Knit Cap Night. The first 4,000 fans will receive a knit cap, courtesy of PSECU. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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