Penguins Comeback Halted by Hershey

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bobby Farnham tied the game late in the 3rd period, sending this evening's game to overtime.
Bobby Farnham tied the game at 3-3 with 3:11 left in regulation to send it to overtime, but it was Dustin Gazley with the game-winning goal 47 seconds into overtime as the Hershey Bears defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the fourth straight time this season. The Bears have now won 11 in a row at home in Giant Center.

The Penguins pick up one point in the standings, moving within one point of East Division-leading Binghamton, heading into the American Hockey League (AHL) all-star break. The Penguins are off until a Valentines Day Friday night showdown with Binghamton.

The teams traded goals early in the first period, with both teams getting on the scoreboard with their first shot. First, Ryan Stoa finished off a pass from Nicholas Deschamps, beating Eric Hartzell with a bad angle shot 1:01 into the contest. Brandon Segal added a secondary assist.

Shortly after the Bears made it 1-0, the Penguins evened it up at 1-1 off a neutral zone turnover. Dominik Uher got a loose puck from the wall to Harry Zolnierczyk, who one-timed a shot to the top shelf for his 16th goal of the season 2:58 into the opening period.

The Penguins got the game's first power play 8:35 into the period when Bears forward Ryan Stoa was whistled for interference. The Pens' 29th ranked power play got the job done and it was none other than Tom Kostopoulos finishing off what was a broken play to give the Pens a 2-1 lead.

Simon Despres wound up a shot from the point, but it was blocked. The puck squirted to the off-wing right to Kostopoulos, who beat Philipp Grubauer with a quick shot while the Bears netminder was attempting to slide across the crease and get in position with 7:52 left in the first period. Andrew Ebbett added a second assist on the power play goal.

Tom Kuhnhackl gave the Bears their first power play chance shortly after, but the Pens were able to kill it off. With 4:07 left, Bobby Farnham again put the Pens in penalty trouble, taking a charging minor and an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing with the referees. The Pens killed off the first minor and a tripping call on Michael Latta erased the second half of the WBS penalty kill, allowing the Pens to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The Penguins penalty kill continued its strong play in the 2nd period, leaving the hometown fans booing the Hershey power play unit as their 4th man advantage expired. Things got a bit more heated in the middle frame, as Harrison Ruopp and Michael Latta dropped the gloves in a spirited bout.

The hitting also picked up. Former Bear and current Penguin forward Mike Carman got knocked off his skates by Bears captain Dane Byers. Several big hits along the boards were handed out, and Reid McNeill was looking for his famous hip check along the boards as well.

Shortly after the 5th failed power play chance of the evening for the Bears, Peter LeBlanc feathered a well-placed pass to Matt Watkins, who turned a nifty backhand shot into a goal. The Bears tied the game at 2-2 with 3:59 left in the middle frame.

They took a 3-2 lead in the third period after Dane Byers was hooked on a breakaway by Philip Samuelsson. The referee awarded the Bears' captain with a penalty shot and Byers made the most of it, beating Hartzell to the blocker side with 9:11 left in regulation.

The Penguins tied the game late with Farnham's third goal of the season to get it to overtime, but ultimately the Bears found a way to win tonight.


Eric Hartzell got the start in net, stopping 28 of 32 shots he faced.

Jayson Megna and Brian Gibbons were scratched again tonight and will be available for the Penguins next game on Friday night in Binghamton.

Harrison Ruopp got back in the WBS lineup on defense, switching with Nick D'Agostino after D'Agostino was the 6th defenseman last night.


Zlobin - Ebbett - Kostopoulos
Uher - Drazenovic - Zolnierczyk
Kuhnhackl - Carman - Rowney
Farnham - Torquato - Leblond

Samuelsson - Despres
Harrington - Mikkelson
McNeill - Ruopp


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