HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Stoa’s third-period insurance goal proved necessary, while Dany Sabourin’s 20 saves kept the HERSHEY BEARS ahead the entire night as they skated to a 3-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
The BEARS controlled the play in the early going, and when the visitors threatened, Sabourin stood tall. Both Sabourin and Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff were solid in the opening period, stopping eight shots each as the period ended scoreless. Both teams’ penalty killing units also had to be sharp early.
It would be the BEARS finally getting on the board first, and it took only 14 seconds into the second period for it to happen. Chasing down a pass from Cameron Schilling on the left boards, Mike Carman took the puck toward the net on his backhand. His first shot was stopped by Zatkoff but the rebound came right back to Carman, and the center lifted the second chance into the upper portion of the net for his first goal of the season.
The Penguins earned their third power play of the game at 12:41 of the second, but the BEARS were the ones to capitalize. A blocked shot allowed Zach Hamill to take off down the right wing. With two Penguins defensemen closing in, Hamill let a wrist shot go from the right circle that sailed over Zatkoff’s blocker for a 2-0 HERSHEY lead.
The Penguins got some life back when Adam Payerl was able to find some daylight inside the right post and underneath Sabourin’s glove at 15:20.
Trailing 2-1 early in the third, the Penguins appeared to have tied the game when Beau Bennett attempted a pass from the corner toward Sabourin’s crease. Phil Dupuis was stationed in front and slipped the puck through Sabourin’s pads. The referees consulted video replay – the third video review at GIANT Center in the young season - and determined that the puck was intentionally directed in by Dupuis’ skate, negating the goal.
The play proved costly for the Penguins as less than two minutes later, Stoa converted a rebound from the slot and gave the BEARS a two-goal cushion. It would be the BEARS’ only shot of the third period.
Eric Tangradi struck on a power play with 5:26 remaining in regulation to cut the Penguins deficit to one, but the BEARS hung on for the victory.
Sabourin improved to 2-2-0 on the season, while Zatkoff turned aside 13 of 16 BEARS shots and fell to 1-4-0.
The BEARS finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
HERSHEY will travel northeast next weekend, taking on the Springfield Falcons on Friday, November 2 and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday, November 3, with faceoffs set for 7:00 PM both nights. Fans may listen to both games on the BEARS Radio Network of stations WQIC-100.1 FM, WTKT-1460 AM, WRBT-94.9 FM HD-2, and the iHeartRadio application for Android and Apple devices.
The BEARS return home on Saturday, November 10 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the St. John’s IceCaps. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.