WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Kevin Marshall picked a good time for his first goal with the HERSHEY BEARS, as he finished off a two-on-one rush with 1:42 left in overtime to give his club a 5-4 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The BEARS got the jump on the Penguins just 3:42 into the game. After winning a puck battle in the offensive zone, the visitors worked the puck to the left point for Cameron Schilling, who made a pass to his defense partner Steve Oleksy. Oleksy threw the puck toward the net from the center point with a hard wrist shot, and Mattias Sjogren got a piece of it while skating in front of Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to deflect it home for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 HERSHEY lead.
On a Patrick Wellar interference call, the Penguins earned their first power play of the game and took just four seconds to make it count. Trevor Smith won a clean faceoff back to the point where Benn Ferriero was positioned. Ferriero let a shot go that caromed off of the right goal post and past BEARS backstop Dany Sabourin, tying the game at 9:12.
Just three minutes later, the BEARS were unable to gain possession in their own right corner. Warren Peters swooped in, grabbed the puck and centered a pass into the slot where Simon Despres collected it and sent it over Sabourin’s blocker at 12:19 for a 2-1 Penguins advantage.
The BEARS later clawed back and tied the game on an odd-man rush. Sjogren carried down the right wing, and got a pass onto the tape of Boyd Kane. The BEARS captain directed the shot off of Zatkoff’s chest, and the rebound fell in front for Mathieu Beaudoin to scoop it into the net for his first of the season at 16:48.
The offense continued for both teams in the middle stanza, as it took 1:29 for Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to net his first of the year. Bortuzzo found the puck at the right point off of a feed from Joe Morrow, and promptly fired a low slap shot that eluded Sabourin through the pads and gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
Once again, the BEARS pulled even. Jon DiSalvatore was fed a pass from Jeff Taffe, and although he didn’t get all of a one-timer from the slot, it was enough to clang off of the left post and behind Zatkoff at 10:30 for a 3-3 tie.
Winning a furious puck battle on the right boards allowed the BEARS to regain their lead late in the period. Zach Hamill fired a hard pass across the offensive zone where Tomas Kundratek caught it and whipped a wrist shot past Zatkoff at 17:38, putting HERSHEY ahead 4-3.
The Penguins then found the equalizer with their second power play goal of the night. Eric Tangradi walked out of the left corner and picked the upper left spot behind Sabourin at 3:04 of the third, pulling the hosts even 4-4.
The remainder of the third period featured exciting hockey but no further scoring.
Neither team wanted to make a defensive gaffe in the overtime, but while the Penguins had possession with just under two minutes left, the BEARS forced a turnover at their defensive blue line. That allowed T.J. Syner to take off with Marshall, and Marshall’s shot from in close snuck underneath Zatkoff at 1:42 of overtime for the winner.
Sabourin picked up the win to improve to 3-4-0, stopping 27 shots. Zatkoff made 21 saves and fell to 10-6-0. The BEARS ended the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS return home tomorrow, December 8 for a 7:00 PM matchup against the Hamilton Bulldogs. The first 4,000 fans age 18 and older will receive a Pennsylvania Lottery voucher. Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.