Bears Rally Twice in Third Period to Beat Pens
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears extended their point streak to 13 and win streak to seven in a 4-3 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at Giant Center. Riley Barber and Nathan Walker each scored in the shootout, and Vitek Vanecek successfully stopped both shooters to complete the victory.
Walker opened the scoring with his AHL-best seventh game's first goal of the season. At 3:38, Walker entered the offensive end on the transition and snapped a low shot past the glove side of Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earned the equalizer later in the opening stanza on their first power play chance of the night. After Jonas Siegenthaler was whistled for slashing at 9:56, Kevin Czuczman scored his fourth of the season at 11:45. Shots after 20 minutes were 14-4 Pens.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tallied the lone goal of the middle frame at the 16:29 mark. Jimmy Hayes blasted a quick shot past Vanecek on a transition play into the Hershey zone to give the Pens a 2-1 lead. Shots after 40 minutes were 20-13 Penguins.
Into the third period, the resilient Bears erased two, one-goal deficits to eventually force overtime, and extend the point streak to 13. First, Tyler Lewington tied the score at 2-2 with a bullet from the left-point at the 4:04 mark. Ryan Haggerty answered for the Baby Pens on a fortunate bounce at 8:43. A centering feed across the blue paint banked off a defenders skate and into the cage. Down a goal into the later stages, Vanecek successfully kept Hershey within one goal by stopping an Adam Johnson penalty shot at 10:03.
The Bears took to the man-advantage to find a late game equalizer and again even the score. At 11:42, Jayson Megna received the last touch on a double deflection following a center point drive by Aaron Ness. Hershey finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the kill. Shots after 60 minutes were 32-26 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
After sudden-death overtime did not solve a winner, both the Bears and Penguins took to a shootout. Hershey received retribution after dropping a shootout to the Pens on Dec. 9 at Giant Center, and came away with the shootout win on Wednesday. Hershey's win improved their record to 27-20-0-3 on the season, and are now 12-0-0-1 during their last 13 games.
The Hershey Bears return to the ice on Saturday, Feb. 16 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It's AmeriChoice FCU Cow Bell Night. The first 5,000 fans will receive a cow bell, courtesy of AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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