HERSHEY, Pa. – Paul Thompson set up the game-tying goal and then scored on a breakaway in overtime, helping the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins come back to defeat the HERSHEY BEARS by a 2-1 score on Sunday evening at the Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic in front of 17,311 fans at HERSHEYPARK Stadium.
With a gusty wind and a dropping temperature surrounding the venue, as expected, it took both teams time to adjust to the atmosphere. The BEARS outshot the Penguins 9-7 in the first period in a cleanly-played battle but both goaltenders Jeff Zatkoff and Dany Sabourin held their ground.
The BEARS finally broke through Zatkoff late in the second period to open the scoring. After stealing the puck along the right wall, Jon DiSalvatore sent a pass to Jeff Taffe deep in the corner. The BEARS leading scorer had all day to spot Tomas Kundratek in the slot for a one-timer that eluded Zatkoff over the glove at 15:40.
The score held until the 7:47 mark of the third. Riley Holzapfel took a cross-ice pass from Thompson and beat Sabourin with a low slap shot to tie the game.
Due to the intense winds prior to the game, it was decided that the two teams would switch ends halfway through the third period. There would be no further scoring and the game headed to overtime.
1:19 into the extra session, the puck popped away from the boards courtesy of a play by Jayson Megna. Thompson grabbed the puck at the blue line and came in alone on Sabourin. His snap shot clipped Sabourin’s glove and went into the net, giving the Penguins the win.
Sabourin earned the game’s third star, stopping 18 of 20 shots, but his record evened to 6-6-0. Zatkoff also evened his record at 12-12-0, making 24 saves. Each team ended the night 0-for-1 on the power play.
The BEARS come back inside to host the St. John’s IceCaps at GIANT Center on Friday, January 25 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.