HERSHEY, Pa. – Andrew Yogan was credited with the game-winning goal which helped the Hartford Wolf Pack hold on for a 4-3 win over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
Jeff Taffe got the hosts on the board first while the Bears were working a power play. Dmitry Orlov worked the puck from the left side to David Kolomatis at the center point. Kolomatis then set up a perfect pass for Taffe to one-time past Hartford goaltender Scott Stajcer at 6:50 of the first period.
The Wolf Pack then tied the game late in the first period on a tough-luck occurrence involving defenseman Dmitry Orlov. The blueliner attempted to clear the puck out of the Bears end but his stick snapped in two pieces, allowing Oscar Lindberg to pick up the puck and fire it past Philipp Grubauer at 18:18.
Hartford took their first lead of the game 1:18 into the second, when Aaron Johnson sent a blast from the slot past Grubauer while the Wolf Pack worked a two-man advantage.
The Bears were then awarded a lengthy two-man power play midway through the period, but the Wolf Pack penalty kill held strong.
Hershey broke through Stajcer’s solid play when Chay Genoway’s shot from the left point deflected up and over the Hartford netminder at 15:40, tying the game 2-2.
Just under two minutes later, the Bears regained their lead on a power move to the net by Michael Latta. Digging the puck out of the right wing corner, Latta walked out and backhanded a shot under the crossbar from a sharp angle, beating Stajcer to the short side at 17:17.
But another tripping penalty would prove costly for the Bears early in the third. Rookie Danny Kristo would tie the game when his long rebound from a Johnson slap shot just barely eluded a diving Grubauer at 3:15.
Another fluke goal would result in Hartford taking their second lead of the game and never looking back. Andrew Rowe would take a shot from the top of the right circle that Grubauer managed to fight off with his shoulder. Two Hershey teammates attempted a quick clear of the puck, but it bounced into the net instead at 8:27 for a 4-3 Wolf Pack lead.
The Bears would get Grubauer off for the extra attacker with just over a minute left to play, but could not find the equalizer.
With the loss, the Bears fall to 1-3-1-0 on the season. Grubauer made 23 saves in dropping to 1-2-0, while Stajcer picked up his first career AHL win with 20 saves on the night and improved to 1-0-0.
The Bears remain home tomorrow, October 27 for a 5:00 PM matchup against the Norfolk Admirals. All fans are invited to wear pink to the game in support of Pink the Rink Night benefitting the American Cancer Society. All children in attendance will also receive Halloween candy on Reese’s Trick or Treat Night.
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 scratch was LW Josh Brittain…Healthy scratches were LW Nathan Walker, RW Joel Rechlicz, LW John Mitchell, RW Jamie Johnson (vet), D Julien Brouillette, D Patrick Wellar and D Tomas Kundratek… Hershey finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill…D Tyson Strachan, LW Matt Watkins, RW Tyler Ruegsegger and D Connor Carrick all picked up their first points in a Hershey sweater…Carrick’s point, an assist, was his first point in the AHL.