HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored four unanswered goals to turn an early 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 victory over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
The Bears came out flying, scoring twice on their first three shots of the game. Opening the scoring was defenseman David Kolomatis, whose shot from the right side banked off of a Penguins blueliner and past goaltender Jeff Deslauriers for his first Hershey goal.
Jeff Taffe then increased the lead 1:59 later. After a scramble in front of Deslauriers' crease created by Nathan Walker and Dane Byers, the puck slid to the bottom of the left circle. Taffe grabbed the puck and fired it from a sharp angle inside the right post for his third goal of the season.
The Bears were outshot 12-7 in the first period but held the two-goal lead, until Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completely changed the flavor of the game. Chris Conner began the comeback by depositing a loose puck past goaltender David Leggio at 4:54 of the second – a goal which came with each team skating one man short.
Later, on a slow line change, the puck slid out of the Penguins' end of the ice and right to Harry Zolnierczyk and Nick Drazenovic for a two-on-none rush. Zolnierczyk would complete the play by banging the puck home at the 10:00 mark for a tie score.
The Penguins would grab a 3-2 lead with time winding down in the period. After being under fire from point-blank range for a large portion of the frame, Leggio watched a shot from Philip Samuelsson come at him from the right point. Tom Kuhnhackl would get enough of the shot to tip it down under Leggio's glove at 19:12. Both Zolnierczyk's and Kuhnhackl's goals had to be confirmed by video replay.
Replay would then work against the Bears in the third period, as the apparent tying goal by Chay Genoway would be negated. The Bears earned three consecutive power play opportunities in the frame, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was perfect on their penalty kill. Andrew Ebbett punctuated the win by stealing Leggio's clearing bid and firing the puck into the net at 18:04 for a shorthanded insurance marker.
Leggio made 38 saves but fell to 1-3-0 on the season. Deslauriers stopped 22 of 24 shots to remain unbeaten in regulation (7-0-1).
The Bears will close out their three games in three nights with another contest against the Norfolk Admirals November 3 with faceoff set for 5:00 PM.