SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Former Hershey Bears forward Jon DiSalvatore netted the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, as the Syracuse Crunch held on for a 3-2 victory on Friday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
Syracuse controlled the play for the first half of the opening period, and ended up jumping in front with the first goal of the night. Tanner Richard made two moves to escape coverage near the left faceoff dot, and then made a pass across to the right side for Mike Angelidis. The Syracuse captain hurried a wrist shot past the outstretched glove of Bears goaltender David Leggio at 9:30.
The Bears answered with a superb individual play by Chay Genoway. The defenseman hustled up at the center point to keep a Syracuse clearing bid onside. He then skated to the left circle and took a shot that was padded down by Kristers Gudlevskis. Genoway stayed with the loose puck, pulled it out of a tangle of skates and chipped it into the upper-right corner of the net at 17:36 for his second goal of the season.
The Crunch then worked hard in keeping the puck in the Bears’ end in getting their two second-period goals. While the Bears worked a power play, Syracuse cleared the puck and kept possession. The Bears attempted a clear, but Dmitry Korobov kept the play onside. He then fed Vlad Namestnikov down low, who slipped a backhand shot underneath Leggio at 2:38 for a 2-1 lead.
DiSalvatore then finished off a lengthy Crunch possession by chipping the rebound of a shot from Tanner Richard past Leggio at 11:12, giving Syracuse a 3-1 lead which held up at the intermission.
The Bears turned up the pressure early in the third, and were rewarded for their efforts. Genoway jumped off of the Bears bench and hurried to keep an area pass from Jeff Taffe onside. He hurried a shot toward the net and Gudlevskis made the save, but Michael Latta beat him to the rebound and lifted the puck under the crossbar at 5:32, cutting the Syracuse lead to one.
The visitors would pull Leggio for a sixth attacker in the final 1:20 of play, but could not find the equalizer.
Leggio made 28 saves on the night but his record fell to 11-12-2. Gudlevskis improved to 10-5-2 with 20 saves on 22 shots.
The Bears record slipped to 17-14-3-3 on the season.
The Bears return home to host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tomorrow, January 18 at 7:00 PM. Tickets for this and all Bears home games are available at the GIANT Center box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling (717) 508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Stanislav Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and LW Nathan Walker…The healthy scratches were D David Kolomatis, LW John Mitchell, RW Joel Rechlicz, D Patrick Wey and LW Derek Whitmore… Hershey finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill…RW Brandon Segal saw his five-game goal streak end, but his first-period assist extended his point streak to six games (7-6-13).