WASHINGTON, D.C. – Richard Panik put up a four-point effort for the host Syracuse Crunch, as his team cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Hershey Bears on Sunday evening at Verizon Center, in the 2014 Washington AHL Showcase.
In an opening period in which the Bears failed on three power play chances – including a lengthy two-man advantage – Syracuse gained momentum and scored a late goal to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Vlad Namestnikov would deposit the rebound of a shot from Panik at 19:22 from in close.
The Bears tied the game early in the second period, while working their fourth power play of the game. Jeff Taffe, camped at the net front, chipped the rebound of a shot from Ryan Stoa over the arm of Crunch netminder Cedrick Desjardins at 1:57 for his ninth power play goal of the season and team-leading 15th tally.
Shortly afterward, Panik let fly with a long shot from the right point that got past Grubauer at 6:16, putting the Crunch back in front.
Mike Angelidis then opened up a two-goal lead for the hosts, when he drove the net and deflected a pass from Pierre-Cedric Labrie past Grubauer at 10:32.
Hershey would battle back with a late tally to draw within one. David Kolomatis started the play with a pass through neutral ice. Nicolas Deschamps collected it, and then carried around the Syracuse net. His wraparound attempt got past the outstretched leg of Desjardins at 17:30, cutting the Syracuse lead to 3-2.
Syracuse would tack on two more third-period goals to put the game away. Panik first knocked down a Bears defenseman to create a skating lane down the right wing side. He then fired a cross-crease pass to Dana Tyrell, who tipped it home at 9:01. Jon DiSalvatore finished off the scoring with a sharp-angle finish on a two-man power play advantage at 16:38.
Grubauer dropped to 11-7-1, making 29 saves on 34 shots. Desjardins improved to 6-14-2 with 24 saves on 26 shots.
Hershey returns home to host the Charlotte Checkers for a pair of games next Saturday, March 1 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, March 2 at a special 4:00 PM start time. Tickets for these and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell, D Cameron Schilling and D Nate Schmidt…The healthy scratches were LW John Mitchell, RW Joel Rechlicz, LW Nathan Walker, D Patrick Wellar and LW Derek Whitmore…Hershey finished the night 1-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill…The Bears finished the season with a record of 2-2-0-0 in neutral-site games…The Bears are 1-1-0-0 in two Washington AHL Showcase games…Hershey lost back-to-back games for the first time since December 27 and 28.