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Demko Pushes Comets Past Bears 3-2 in OT

Demko Pushes Comets Past Bears 3-2 in OT

01/07/2017 - (Hershey, PA- January 7, 2017)-The Hershey Bears fired 38 shots at Utica goaltender Thatcher Demko, but the netminder was the difference in a 3-2 overtime win for the Comets at the GIANT Center on Saturday night. Curtis Valk’s overtime winning tally just 21 seconds into the extra session dropped the Bears to 1-6 in overtime this season.
Hershey’s offensive attack came in the opening period of Saturday's game. The Bears delighted the crowd of 10,306 with a goal 5:49 into the contest. Hershey’s Paul Carey scored his 10th goal of the season, capitalizing on a rebound off a Stan Galiev shot. Demko kicked out Galiev’s chance from the slot, but Carey’s spinning shot along the ice beat the netminder past the right pad to make it 1-0 Hershey.
After Utica’s Wacey Hamilton scored through the five-hole of Hershey netminder Joe Cannata at 13:18, the Bears responded to take a 2-1 lead. Chandler Stephenson scored his 6th goal of the season with an unassisted marker at 17:39. The forward blocked a shot, and raced down the left side of the ice. He used his speed to get a clear shot on Demko. Stephenson found the back of the net, sneaking a shot through Demko's five-hole to give Hershey the advantage.
After a scoreless second period, Utica’s Alexandre Grenier tied the game only 42 seconds into the third period. The forward sent a shot to the net from the right wing, and somehow the puck rolled underneath the pad of Cannata to even the score, 2-2.
The Bears fired a season-high 18 shots in the third period, but Demko denied Hershey from breaking the deadlock. The goaltender made several sensational saves, including denying a pair of Hershey shots with his blocker after losing his stick in a scramble.
In overtime, Valk’s 12th goal of the season earned Utica a second straight win. Hershey defender Colby Williams ran into Cannata, causing confusion at the net. Valk walked the puck to the front of the goal and snapped a shot over the blocker of a standing Cannata to hand Hershey a third straight loss.
The victory was Utica’s first all-time win versus Hershey in six meetings with the Bears. Hershey outshot the Comets 38-23 in the final game of the season series. Both teams failed to convert on the power play as Hershey went 0-for-4 while Utica was 0-for-2.
Hershey is back in action tomorrow for a 5 p.m. puck drop at home versus the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The first 3,000 fans receive a Jakub Vrana Labatt Blue pint glass. It’s also Girl Scout Night. Ticket information is available at HersheyBears.com. Ticket information is available at HersheyBears.com. 

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