WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Chris Conner scored with 2:38 left in regulation to snap a 1-1 tie and send the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The first period featured a tight defensive battle by both teams. The squads were each credited with five shots on goal, and each was successful on two penalty kills.
Tomas Kundratek would be the player to get things started offensively, as he was the first to be able to solve the Penguins’ defense and goaltender Jeff Deslauriers. After a Penguins dump-in hit an official near the penalty boxes, the Bears were able to turn back on the offense. Kundratek picked up the puck, carried down the right wing and let a snap shot go that eluded Deslauriers to the blocker side at 4:05 of the second period.
But the Penguins would even the contest at the 7:31 mark on a shorthanded tally. The hosts interrupted an entry along the left side of their defensive blue line, a play which turned into Jayson Megna and Brian Gibbons taking off on a two-on-one rush. Gibbons slid a pass to Megna on the right boards, broke for the net and collected the give-and-go pass to slide the puck past Bears backstop David Leggio.
The teams would trade seven more power plays with the game tied, with each penalty killing unit standing up to the task.
The Penguins would then forge ahead on a giveaway along the Bears offensive blue line. Gibbons picked off a cross-ice feed and broke in toward Leggio, and instead of shooting, dropped the puck for Conner who backhanded a shot into the net at 17:22.
The hosts would ice the game when Dominik Uher dug the puck out of a scrum behind the Hershey net, and found Zack Sill for the snap shot past Leggio with 1:13 left to play.
Leggio finished the night with 25 saves on 28 shots in taking the loss, while Deslauriers improved to 2-0-0 with an 18-save effort.
The Bears will take to the skies for Newfoundland next weekend, and will battle the St. John’s IceCaps in a pair of games at Mile One Centre. Faceoff for both Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19 is set for 6:00 PM Eastern time.
The team returns home to face the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, October 26 at 7:00 PM. The first 3,000 fans will receive a keytag schedule courtesy of Hershey/CKC Pharmacy.
Individual tickets for this and all Hershey Bears home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting TicketMaster.com on the internet. Information on season tickets, group tickets and flex plans for the 2013-2014 Hershey Bears regular season is available by calling (717)508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were LW Josh Brittain and D Dmitry Orlov, while healthy scratches were D Tyson Strachan (veteran), RW Joel Rechlicz, LW John Mitchell, LW Ryan Stoa, LW Nicolas Deschamps and D David Kolomatis… Hershey finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.