HERSHEY, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears put forth perhaps the most memorable game of the 2016-17 season, one which saw the Penguins emerge victorious in overtime, 6-5, at Giant Center on Sunday evening.
The Penguins (25-7-3-0) and Bears (18-8-7-2) combined for six goals in the third period, including two late tallies, that forced overtime where defenseman David Warsofsky gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the win.
Hershey capitalized for an early marker 2:52 into the game from Stanislav Galiev, and the Bears later added a power play goal by Zach Sanford to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Penguins responded nicely with a pair of goals in the middle frame to knot the score, 2-2. Tim Erixon netted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first goal of the game when he hammered a slap shot from the point past Vítek Vaněček at 8:52. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman also factored in on the Penguins’ second goal, sending a slapper on net that Tom Kostopoulos knocked in off the rebound.
The third period bent the barriers of reality with its offensive output, as the Penguins and Bears exchanged goals and leads like it was nothing.
Galiev scored his second of the game at 7:26 of the third to make it 3-2, but Derrick Pouliot responded for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1:09 later with an outstanding individual effort. Christian Thomas put Hershey back on top with a power play goal, but 1:08 later, Warsofsky and the Penguins answered back with a man advantage marker of their own.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took its first lead of the game with yet another power play goal at 17:56 of the third. After Pouliot successfully faked out the entirety of the Bears defense, he dished the puck to Garrett Wilson who was all alone in the slot. Wilson hoisted a backhand shot into the top corner, giving the Penguins a 5-4 lead.
In a last gasp effort, Hershey pulled the goalie for an extra attacker and Sanford scored his second of the game to tie it, 5-5, with exactly eight seconds remaining in regulation.
Warsofsky brought the game to a sudden close by threading the puck into the near-side corner from an impossible angle in the sudden death overtime period. With the game-winning goal, Warsofsky completed his third-straight multi-point game and extended his personal point streak to eight contests.
Casey DeSmith made 19 saves in regulation and one more in OT as the Penguins won their fourth-straight game and maintained their spot atop the AHL standings. Vaněček recorded 31 saves on 37 shots faced for the Bears.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Wednesday, Jan. 11 when they face the Toronto Marlies at 7:00 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum. The Penguins’ next home showing is Saturday, Jan. 21, and once again their opponent will be the Bears.
Individual game tickets for the game on Jan. 21 and all Penguins home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.