GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Michael Latta scored his first goal with the HERSHEY BEARS with 4:41 left to play, to cap off a 2-1 comeback victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Bears earned a power play just 17 seconds into the game when Jason Akeson was called for high-sticking Joey Crabb. The Phantoms would kill the power play, but a long delay ensued at the next stoppage in play for a video review. Crabb’s back-door shot found the top of the mask of Phantoms netminder Cal Heeter, but never crossed the goal line per the replay.
Akeson made up for the penalty by scoring on a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Bears goaltender Philipp Grubauer high with 1:43 left in the first period. Scott Laughton and Danny Syvret earned the assists.
The Phantoms hit the left post and the crossbar in the opening period as well, after killing off the Bears’ second power play of the game. Hershey also killed the only Phantoms advantage of the contest.
The Bears then battled back to tie the game late in the second frame. Jon DiSalvatore started a rush through the neutral zone, and then fed a pass on the right wing. Ryan Potulny collected it and fired an off-wing snap shot that Heeter steered away, but the rebound landed perfectly in the slot for Cameron Schilling to one-time it into the net at 18:27.
The Bears took their first lead of the game on another transition in the neutral zone. Casey Wellman started the play by sending a short pass ahead for Nicolas Deschamps. The winger skated down the left wing, then flipped a perfect saucer pass over a defenseman’s stick. Latta collected it and snapped a shot up high over Heeter at 15:19.
The Phantoms would get Heeter to the bench for a sixth attacker, but the Bears won two key draws in their defensive zone to skate to victory.
Grubauer improved to 14-8-2 with 20 saves on 21 Adirondack shots. Heeter took the tough loss in a strong game and fell to 11-16-3, making 24 saves. The Bears finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Coupled with losses by the Connecticut Whale and the Norfolk Admirals, as well as a win by the Manchester Monarchs, the four teams are now tied with 79 points and will continue to battle for one of the two remaining playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Connecticut has one game remaining, while Hershey, Manchester and Norfolk have two left in the regular season.
The Bears complete a six-game road trip with a 7:05 PM faceoff against the Binghamton Senators tomorrow, April 20 at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Bears will then play their final home game of the regular season on Sunday, April 21 at 5:00 against the Manchester Monarchs. All fans in attendance will receive a complimentary pass to HERSHEYPARK valid through July 4, 2013. The game is sold out.