HERSHEY, Pa. – The 2016-17 chapter of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears rivalry kicked off in dramatic fashion, with the Penguins earning a 2-1 overtime win at Giant Center on Sunday evening.
The Penguins (3-1-0-0) came back from down 1-0 in the third period to force overtime, and then won the contest on the most exciting play in hockey: an overtime penalty shot.
Dominik Simon was headed to the Hershey net on a naked breakaway at 1:52 of OT when he was hooked in the slot and awarded the penalty shot. He made sure the chance wasn’t wasted, beating Bears netminder Vítek Vanečěk with a backhander glove side for his second goal in as many games.
The game was scoreless for more than 45 minutes before a bizarre bounce sent the puck off the glass right into the slot in the Penguins defensive zone. Chris Bourque picked up the loose puck and slid a pass over to Riley Barber, who scored the game’s first goal at 16:39 of the second period.
The Penguins found a tying goal at 9:57 of the third period, when Jake Guentzel tipped in a slap shot from Chad Ruhwedel.
Both teams traded chances in a furiously contested, up-and-down third period before regulation came to an end tied, 1-1.
Simon’s goal not only gave the Penguins the win, but was also the first successful penalty shot conversion for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Andrew Ebbett on Mar. 14, 2014.
Tristan Jarry stood tall in goal for the Penguins, making 30 total saves for his second win of the season. Vanečěk recorded 33 stops for the Bears.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Wednesday, Oct. 26 against the Albany Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 seaon of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.