WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Nicolas Deschamps scored twice – once shorthanded – and set up another goal, but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins pushed past the Hershey Bears on the strength of three power play goals in a 5-3 victory on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
In a defensively-played first period, the Bears ended up in penalty trouble, taking penalties that handed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton four man advantages in the first 12:19. Just 1:50 into the game, and six seconds into their first chance, the Penguins grabbed the lead. Off of a Brian Gibbons faceoff win, Scott Harrington took a wrist shot from the left point that deflected off of the stick of Tom Kostopoulos and through the legs of Bears goaltender David Leggio.
Anton Zlobin then led an odd-man rush on the Penguins’ third power play, passing across for an open Paul Thompson who finished the play by slamming home his second goal of the season at 12:19.
Immediately after the goal, the Bears were whistled for too many men on the ice. Late on that power play, Gibbons tapped a pass from Nick Drazenovic behind Leggio from the top of the crease at 14:02.
Hershey would completely take over the second period, outshooting the Penguins 11-3 and grabbing two goals. The first came at 15:52 when Ryan Stoa carried the puck over the Penguins’ line and snapped a shot over the glove of netminder Eric Hartzell.
Deschamps, who set up Stoa’s goal, was then credited with the Bears’ second tally just 55 seconds later. Set up at the bottom of the right circle, Deschamps watched a Peter LeBlanc shot deflect off of his skate and into the upper-left corner of the net.
Down by just one goal, a turnover in the Bears’ zone ended up on the tape of Kostopoulos, who snapped home his second goal of the game over the blocker of Leggio at 6:05 of the third.
The Penguins earned another chance on the power play shortly afterward but it would be the Bears who would strike. Tyson Strachan lobbed a clearing bid from deep in Hershey territory. Deschamps collected it at center ice and broke in alone on Hartzell. The netminder denied the first shot by Deschamps deposited the rebound at 8:56 for the Bears’ fourth shorthanded goal of the season.
The Penguins would punctuate the win when Drazenovic tapped a loose puck underneath a sprawled Leggio at 16:21.
Leggio drops to 4-6-2 on the season, stopping 15 of 20 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots. Hartzell improves to 3-1-0, making 20 saves.
The Bears now sit at 9-9-2-3 on the season.
Hershey returns home to face the Binghamton Senators tomorrow, December 14 at 7:00 PM. 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 RW Connor Carrick, D Chay Genoway, D Tomas Kundratek and RW Garrett Mitchell…Healthy scratches were D Brett Flemming, C Jamie Johnson (vet), LW John Mitchell, G Michal Neuvirth, RW Joel Rechlicz and LW Nathan Walker… Hershey finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-6 on the penalty kill.