Hey Washington, we found your mascot! With the Capitals out-of-town, Slapshot and some of the Red Rockers made the trip to Hershey to help support the Bears as they looked to rebound from last night’s loss in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
But, the Utica Comets answered both of Hershey’s first two goals and got the game-winner in overtime for the 3-2 victory over the Bears. With the loss, the Bears drop to 1-6 this season in overtime games.
Paul Carey scored his tenth goal of the season after Utica’s Thatcher Demko stopped Stan Galiev’s shot but was unable to cover the puck. Carey corralled it, spun around, and buried it into the back of the net to give Hershey a 1-0 lead early in the first period.
Utica tied the game when Wacey Hamilton scored at the 13:18 mark, but Chandler Stephenson gave the Bears the lead once again just a few minutes later.
Stephenson took control of a the puck in the neutral zone and raced in alone to beat Demko five-hole for the 2-0 lead. Stephenson’s goal was unassisted.
The game marked the first home game back for Jakub Vrana. It also marked the home return for injured Joey Leach and Christian Djoos who took a puck to the face a week ago. Djoos sported a cage while teammate Travis Boyd, who a said in an interview (Travis Boyd Interview) last week that he had gotten lucky earlier this year when he too could have lost teeth, got lucky once again in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after he took a stick to the face. Boyd sported the “bubble” or full shield like Darren Deitz wore last week.
After a scoreless second period, Utica’s Alexandre Grenier out-skated Tyler Lewington to the puck and beat Joe Cannata with a near-zero angle shot to tie the game.
Hershey turned up the pressure on Demko, but the Utica goalie rose the occasion down the stretch, stopping all 18 of Hershey’s third period shots and a total of 36 of 38 on the evening.
“I thought Demko stole the game for them,” Troy Mann said of the game’s first star.
He was less pleased with the performance of his own goalie, particularly the one that tied the game and then the overtime game-winner.
“Joey C has got to make that stop,” said Mann, continuing, “We lost the first draw (in overtime) and the next thing you know, the puck’s in the back of the net.
Cannata, a former member of the Utica Comets, stopped 20 of 23 shots for the Bears. The Bears were 0 for 4 on the power play, but were 2 for 2 on the penalty kill.
Hershey, which lost last night in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, hosts the Penguins tomorrow night at 5:00 at Giant Center.
By Julie Beidler