HERSHEY, Pa. – Marcus Foligno’s third-period goal and fourth point of the night stood up as the eventual game winner in a wild 8-7 victory over the HERSHEY BEARS in the BEARS’ 75th home opener on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
The goal-fest began 7:57 into the game, and the BEARS got on the board first. Jeff Taffe finished off a Garrett Mitchell cross-ice pass by beating Amerks netminder David Leggio on a two-on-one rush to give the hosts the lead. Rochester tied it seven minutes later on a fluke goal, when Rick Schofield jammed a shot from the slot toward the net. The puck deflected high in the air, over a BEARS defenseman and past Dany Sabourin at 14:38.
Mitchell made the game 2-1 in favor of HERSHEY when he stationed himself to the right of Leggio’s crease and tipped Garrett Stafford’s point shot in from a sharp angle at 17:24 of the first. The BEARS would add one more first-period strike with less than one minute remaining, when Tomas Kundratek swarmed in toward a pile of bodies in front of Leggio, dug the puck out and snapped it into the open upper portion of the net for a 3-1 advantage.
The BEARS kept up their power play success early in the second, when Jon DiSalvatore fired home his second of the season at the 1:56 mark. Evan Rankin then cut into the BEARS lead to make it a 4-2 game after taking a feed from Foligno and beating Sabourin. But just 3:15 later, the BEARS regained their three-goal advantage after Ryan Stoa tipped a Stafford shot from the right point through Leggio’s pads.
Rochester then took control, scoring three times before the period expired to even the match. Luke Adam, Foligno an T.J. Brennan scored in succession separated by a span of 5:08, knotting the score 5-5 at the second intermission.
Boyd Kane started the third period off well for the BEARS, winning a puck battle behind the Amerks net and passing in front. Mattias Sjogren collected the pass and beat Leggio upstairs, giving the BEARS a 6-5 lead. But a key two-man advantage would prove to be the last that the Amerks needed for the victory, as Brennan scored on a slap shot with just one second left in the BEARS’ two-man disadvantage. The timing of the goal allowed the Amerks to continue on a 5-on-4 advantage, and Foligno made it count with a backhand spin-around shot that eluded Sabourin at 11:07, giving the Amerks a 7-6 lead.
Mancari beat Sabourin on a cross-ice feed from Mark Pysyk to make it an 8-6 advantage, but the BEARS continued to battle and brought the game within one on Stoa’s second deflection goal of the game with 1:43 left in regulation. The BEARS could not draw closer however, giving Rochester the win.
Sabourin drops to 1-1-0 on the season, making 22 saves on 30 shots. Leggio allowed seven goals on 39 shots to pick up his third win and improve to 3-2-0.
The BEARS finished the night 3-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS will take on the Binghamton Senators at GIANT Center tomorrow night, October 21 at 5:00 PM. 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.