HERSHEY, Pa. – Dane Byers scored the game-tying marker, Chay Genoway tallied the go-ahead goal and Brandon Segal scored two more – all in the third period – helping the Hershey Bears come back from a long-lasting one-goal deficit to claim a 4-1 victory over the Albany Devils on Friday night in front of 10,149 fans at GIANT Center.
The first period was a tight one, but after the Bears missed on two power play chances, the Devils would convert on their lone opportunity in the final minute of the frame. With Stefan Matteau stationed behind the net, the forward chased down a puck and attempted a between-the-legs centering pass. Goaltender David Leggio turned his goal stick to block the pass but the puck deflected in front and off of a few bodies. The puck then blooped back over Leggio and into the net at 19:48. Matteau earned credit for the goal.
The Devils nearly took a 2-0 lead on an early second-period play at the top of Leggio’s goal crease but the play was waved off as the puck was touched with a high stick. The period would end with the Bears successful on three more penalty kills.
After one more kill early in the third, the Bears earned their third power play of the game and finally hit pay dirt. Byers would set up in the slot, and angle his stick perfectly to catch a Kris Newbury slapper and tip it past Scott Wedgewood at 9:51.
Just under five minutes later, Genoway would provide the heroics by taking a long-range wrist shot from the left point. The puck floated all the way to the Albany net, hit the back crossbar and drop down for a 2-1 lead at 14:03.
Segal scored the first of his two on the Bears’ fourth power play of the night. Jeff Taffe would swipe the puck from a Devils defenseman in the right corner, and emerge with Segal against only Wedgewood. Taffe cut across the crease, drew Wedgewood down and dropped the puck for Segal to finish at 18:59.
Segal would hit the empty net with less than three seconds left to play to seal the win.
Leggio made 21 saves on the night to improve to 19-17-3. Wedgewood took the loss and fell to 13-13-3 with 22 saves on 25 shots.
The Bears improve to 33-25-4-4 with the win, and coupled with a Norfolk Admirals loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Bears are three points out of the eighth and final conference playoff position.
The Bears will remain home to battle the St. John’s IceCaps tomorrow, March 29 at 7:00 PM. The first 3,000 fans through the gates will receive a Bears logo golf ball, courtesy of Fairview Golf Course. 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 scratch was D Nate Schmidt…The healthy scratches were F Caleb Herbert, C Ryan Potulny, RW Joel Rechlicz, LW Nathan Walker and D Patrick Wellar…Hershey finished the night 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill…The Bears improved to 21-10-1-3 at GIANT Center…The Bears won the season series in a sweep over Albany, 4-0-0-0…RW Brandon Segal tied C Jeff Taffe for the team goal-scoring lead, netting his 16th and 17th of the season.