The Hershey Bears beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. The win is the seventh straight for the Bears and improves the Bears record to 27-20-0-3 (57 points) on the season. The Bears are back in action on Saturday when they host the first game of a home-and-home set with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
The Bears struck first on a nasty wrister from Nathan Walker early in the first period, but the Penguins would respond midway through the first period with a power play goal to make it 1-1 at the first intermission. The Penguins would notch a late goal in the middle frame for a 2-1 lead at the second intermission. Tyler Lewington would tie it early in the final frame, but the Penguins answered moments later to make it 3-2 at the midway point of the final frame. Jayson Megna would tie it for the Bears midway through the final frame, sending the game to overtime. The Bears would win it in the shootout.
Vitek Vanecek (12-8-2-1, 2.73 GAA, .905 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Tristan Jarry (15-9-3-0, 2.75 GAA, .912 sv% ) got the start in goal for the visiting Penguins. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich– Megna – Pinho
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Gustafsson – Whitney
Ness – Lewington
Geisser – Sproul
Johansen – Siegenthaler
Scratches: Colby Williams (lower body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury – long-term) were the injury scratches. Juuso Ikonen, Max Kammerer and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches.
The Bears struck first with a nice wrister from Nathan Walker at 3:38 of the first frame. Beck Malenstyn (6) and Garrett Pilon (16) were credited with the helpers.
The Penguins would respond with a power play goal from Kevin Czuczman at 11:45 of the first period.
The period would conclude with the game tied 1-1. The Penguins outshot the Bears 14-4 for the first 20 minutes. The Penguins were 1 for 1 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play in the first period.
The Penguins would take their first lead with a goal from Jimmy Hayes at 16:29 of the middle frame, making it 2-1.
The second period would end with the Penguins leading 2-1. The Bears outshot the Penguins 9-6 in the middle frame, and trailed 20-13 after two periods of play. The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Penguins 1 for 3 on the power play after 40 minutes.
The Bears would tie the game early in the final stanza with a 6-on-5 blast from Tyler Lewington at 4:04 of the third period. Aaron Ness (31) and Mike Sgarbossa (21) were credited with the helpers.
The Penguins would answer on a goal from Ryan Haggerty at 8:43 of the final frame. The centering pass deflected off of Brian Pinho’s skate for the Penguins third goal, making it 3-2.
The Bears were called for a slashing on a Penguins break away, which gave a penalty shot to the Penguins. Vitek Vanecek was solid with the stop, keeping the game 3-2.
The Bears rallied again. This time Jayson Megna would deflect a shot from the point, making it 3-3 at 11:42 of the final period. Nathan Walker (10) and Aaron Ness (32) were credited with the assists.
Regulation would end in a 3-3 tie.
The extra frame would go scoreless, sending the game to a shootout. The Bears would win it in the shootout. Riley Barber and Nathan Walker would score in the shootout. Vitek Vanecek was perfect in goal.
- Stars of the game: 1) Nathan Walker, 2) Vitek Vanecek and 3) Aaron Ness.
- The Bears have won seven straight games and earned points in 13 straight games.
- The Penguins outshot the Bears 26-32 for the game.
- Vitek Vanecek stopped 33 of 36 shots for a .917 save percentage.
- Nathan Walker and Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 5.
- Aaron Ness and Nathan Walker both had two points in the game.
- The Bears were 1 for 4 and the Penguins 1 for 4 on the power play.
- The Bears extend their point streak to 13 games.
- Nathan Walker scored the first goal of the game for the seventh time this season.
- Jayson Megna played in his 400th professional game.
- Attendance: 6,784
- The AHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM HERSHEY