Gone In Sixty Seconds: Hershey Holds Off Penguins Late Rally

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Tom Kuhnhackl has found himself a healthy scratch in back-to-back games this weekend.
In a game controlled for the most part by the Hershey Bears, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins comeback falls short and the Bears escape with a wild 5-4 win over the Penguins. With the win, the Bears move up to 2nd place in the East Division.

The loss by the Penguins coupled with a Norfolk Admirals win over Syracuse tonight, drops the Pens from 2nd back to 4th place in the division with a rematch against Hershey tomorrow afternoon in Wilkes-Barre.

Trailing 5-1 with 7:08 left in regulation, Nick Drazenovic to a behind the net feed from Tom Kostopoulos and snapped a puck over Philipp Grubauer's right shoulder to cut the lead to 5-2.

The Bears took consecutive minor penalties 13 seconds apart and on the ensuing two-man advantage Kostopoulos fed a cross-ice pass to an open Brian Gibbons, who one-timed a puck into the back of the net on a set back-door type play to bring the Penguins within two.

Jayson Megna scored a goal from a bad angle on Grubauer with the extra attacker pulled to make it a one goal game with 16.6 seconds left but it was too little too late for the Penguins, who drop their second game of the weekend.

One thing to note: Eric Hartzell appeared to have sustained a lower body injury midway through the third. He stayed in the game initially after he made an awkward save, but later took himself out of then game. Jeff Deslauriers came on to replace Hartzell and finished the game in the WBS net.

Much like last night, the Penguins played well in the first half of the first period. They carried the edge in play and had twice as many shots than the Bears early on. They even took a lead with 7:59 left in the opening period when Bobby Farnham picked the top left corner just inside the near post from a bad angle down-low by the goal line.

From there, the Bears seemed like they had really flipped the switch on the Pens. They rattled off 12 shots on Eric Hartzell and with Spencer Machacek in the box for a high-sticking minor in the final minute of the period, the Bears would tie the game up at 1-1 on a power play goal with less than 30 seconds left.

The teams would head to the locker room tied at 1-1 and the Bears would continue their surge into the 2nd period, taking a 2-1 lead in the opening minute of the middle frame on Dustin Gazley's 7th of the season.

The Penguins countered with some pressure after killing off a Bears power play chance, but the Bears owned the puck possession war for most of the period, again striking in the final minute of a period to make it a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

Hartzell let out a rebound of a Julien Brouilette point shot that Dane Byers put back towards the WBS net. Byers' backhander was re-directed in by Ryan Potulny for his second goal in 20 games this season. Potulny scored 19 goals in 66 regular season games for the Bears last season.


WBS - Eric Hartzell: 28 saves on 32 shots, left game with injury in third period.
Jeff Deslauriers: 1 save on 2 shots in 7:30 of ice time.

HER - Philipp Grubauer: 31 saves on 35 shots



Zolnierczyk - Ebbett - Machacek
Zlobin - Gibbons - Kostopoulos
Uher - Drazenovic - Megna
Farnham - Carman - Payerl

Samuelsson - Despres
Mikkelson - Harrington
McNeill - D'Agostino

WBS Scratches: Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Zach Sill (upper body), Tom Kuhnhackl (healthy), Harrison Ruopp (healthy) and Pierre-Luc Leblond (undisclosed)


Deschamps - Stoa - Segal
Taffe - Wellman - Gazley
Byers - Potulny - Watkins
Latta - LeBlanc

Schilling - Strachan
Brouillette - Wey
Schmidt - Kolomatis

HER Scratches: Galiev, Kundratek, G.Mitchell, J.Mitchell (healthy), Oleksy (healthy), Walker (healthy), Wellar (healthy), Whitmore (healthy) and Rechlicz (healthy)


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