HERSHEY, Pa. – David Kolomatis scored with 6.6 seconds left in overtime, sending the Hershey Bears to a 3-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night in front of 10,081 fans at GIANT Center.
For the second consecutive game, the Bears would strike on their first power play of the contest to take the lead. Casey Wellman would work the perimeter to get the puck to Chay Genoway at the center point. Genoway faked a slap shot, and then passed to his left where Stan Galiev one-timed a hard shot past Penguins goaltender Jeff Deslauriers for his first American Hockey League goal at 3:47.
A physical first period would end with 54 combined penalty minutes and two Bears penalty kills.
In the second period, the Bears killed off a five-minute major penalty assessed to Garrett Mitchell to hold their lead. Then, six seconds after their second power play expired, Jeff Taffe backhanded the rebound of a shot from Wellman behind Deslauriers for a 2-0 advantage at the 14:31 mark.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would begin their comeback 3:33 into the third period when Bobby Farnham sent a pass ahead from the left side of the neutral zone. Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond grabbed the pass, skated down the left boards and fired a slap shot on net. The puck eluded the glove hand of goaltender David Leggio for Leblond’s first goal of the season.
Former Bears center Mike Carman would then tie the game at the 14:45 mark of the third period. Driving toward the goal crease, Carman would lay his stick down and tap an Adam Payerl pass from the right corner behind Leggio.
An eventful overtime would ensue, and on the final offensive zone rush for the Bears, Matt Watkins and Dane Byers worked the puck toward the right circle and around the Hershey net. Byers would get a shot on net that Deslauriers would knock aside. Kolomatis was the first to grab the loose puck, and his turnaround shot slid inside the right post for the winner.
With the win, the Bears improve to 7-7-2-2 on the season, while the Penguins maintain a tie for the division lead with a mark of 13-5-1-2.
Leggio improves to 3-5-1 with a 30-save effort, while Deslauriers falls to 10-5-2 with 18 saves on 21 shots.
Hershey’s homestand concludes with the first matchup of the season against the Providence Bruins tomorrow, December 1 at 5:00 PM. The Bears will hold the WGAL / Northwest Savings Bank Teddy Bear Toss, in which all fans are invited to bring a stuffed toy to toss onto the ice following the Bears’ first goal. Additionally, the second class of the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame will be enshrined in a formal pre-game ceremony.
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 D Connor Carrick, D Tomas Kundratek and LW Derek Whitmore…Healthy scratches were LW Nicolas Deschamps, C Jamie Johnson, C Michael Latta and LW John Mitchell…Hershey finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.