SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Chris Brown and Kris Newbury posted points in their first games with their new team and Philipp Grubauer turned aside 34 shots, but former Hershey Bears forward Jon DiSalvatore again burned his former team by netting the overtime winner in a 3-2 Syracuse Crunch victory on Friday night at the War Memorial Arena.
On the only power play of the entire night, the Bears would cash in to take a first-period lead. Brown and Newbury, paired together on a line with Jeff Taffe for the game, were also on the Bears’ top power play unit. Dane Byers would work the puck out of the right corner, where Newbury picked up the pass behind the goal line. He then fired a perfect feed to Brown who was unguarded in the slot. Brown’s one-timer slipped under the right pad of goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis at 9:50, putting Hershey on the board.
Crunch defenseman Charles Landry would then score to tie the game at 14:04. After Philippe Paradis’ one-timer from the left circle missed its target, the puck slid all the way to the right point. Landry hurried a shot into traffic, and after two deflections, the puck found its way past Grubauer.
Newly-acquired forward Dalton Smith would put Syracuse on top early in the second. Off of a faceoff win from Yanni Gourde, Smith backhanded a chip shot that deflected off of a Bears stick and past Grubauer’s glove at 2:48.
The Crunch held the one-goal lead until just before the midway point of the third period. David Kolomatis jumped around a Syracuse forward and had Matt Watkins with him for a short odd-man rush. Kolomatis faked a shot and dished to his left, and Watkins redirected the puck over Gudlevskis’ stick to tie the contest at 9:13.
In overtime, after the Bears were unable to clear the front of their net, the stick blades of DiSalvatore and a Bears defenseman would come together as both players poked at the puck. The puck deflected up in the air, off of the right goal post and into the net behind Grubauer at 1:50.
Grubauer’s record drops to 11-9-1 with the loss, while Gudlevskis made 31 saves to improve to 13-9-2.
The Bears return home tomorrow, March 15 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Adirondack Phantoms. The first 5,000 fans will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Tickets for this 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 RW Dustin Gazley, D Tomas Kundratek, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Nate Schmidt…The healthy scratches were D Steve Oleksy, C Ryan Potulny and RW Joel Rechlicz…Hershey finished the night 1-for-1 on the power play and did not have to go on the penalty kill…The Bears played without earning a penalty for the first time since March 3, 1990 at Utica…D David Kolomatis played in the 300th game of his AHL career.