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Vanecek Strong, but Penguins Earn 2-1 Overtime Win

Vanecek Strong, but Penguins Earn 2-1 Overtime Win

01/01/2018 - Netminder Vitek Vanecek stopped 36 shots, but the Hershey Bears fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in overtime, 2-1 on Saturday night at the Giant Center. Tyler Graovac scored the lone goal for the Chocolate and White in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,596.

After a scoreless opening frame where Vanecek turned aside 15 shots, the Penguins broke into the goal column at 7:26 of the second period. Zach Aston-Reese fired a shot that glanced off the bottom of the cross-bar and into the cage to make it 1-0 for the visitors. 

The slim Penguins' 1-0 lead stood until the third period, when the Bears finally solved Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Anthony Peters. Just 3:10 into the third period, Tyler Graovac finished a passing play and scored with a shot low to the ice after receiving a feed from Riley Barber. 

In the final seconds of regulation, the Penguins had a glorious scoring chance to steal the game in the final seconds. After a 4-on-4 situation became an abbreviated power play for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Vanecek stopped a breakaway against Chris Summers to force overtime and earn the Bears a standings point. 

At 3:05 of overtime, Dominik Simon scored for the Penguins to preserve a 2-1 overtime win. With open ice, Simon beat Vanecek high, glove-side to end the game. 

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey, 38-21. The Bears went 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Penguins were 0-for-4. 

The overtime loss marks the first for the Bears this season, moving their record to 15-16-1-3. The Penguins improve to 18-10-2-1, earning their fourth win in six tries against Hershey on the regular season. 

The Bears return to action following their New Year's layoff on Saturday, January 6 versus the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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