In their seventh meeting of the season, the Hershey Bears have once again defeated one of their most heated rivals in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a score of 3-2. In front of their first sellout crowd of the year, Hershey took advantage of mistakes and flaring tempers to improve to 4-2-0-1 in the 12-game season series.
The Baby Pens were able to strike first in what would be an exciting, back-and-forth first period. Just 1:07 into the game, WBS center Jean-Sebastien Dea netted his first goal of the season on his team’s first shot of the game, with help from Ryan Haggerty. The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Kevin Czuzcman would take a holding penalty just two minutes later, resulting in a power play on which Hershey’s Mike Sgarbossa potted his team-leading 13th goal of the season to tie the game at one apiece. Nathan Walker and Teddy Blueger would score goals, both of the power play variety, on the first frame. The game-winning goal would come from the stick of Hershey’s Riley Barber with just 1:33 remaining in the second period.
Hershey’s power play put on an impressive display, converting on three of their six chances, as well as holding the Pens to just one goal on their three attempts on the man-advantage. As has been the case for the season as a whole, when the Bears’ special teams play is on a roll, Hershey wins games. When either side of that coin falyers, the Chocolate and White tend to struggle while they continue to establish their 5-on-5 play as a mostly new team with a new identity.
Hershey will do their best on a back-to-back when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms make another visit to the Giant Center on Saturday night at 5 p.m.