Pens pick up point in overtime loss to Bears

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Dustin Gazley scored 47 seconds into overtime to give the Hershey Bears a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday evening at the Giant Center.

The win was Hershey’s 11th straight on home ice, and upped their record to 26-16-3-3 on the season.

The Penguins (28-16-2-3) moved to within one point of the East Division leading Binghamton Senators with the overtime loss. The two clubs will face off this coming Friday night in Broome County.Hershey Bears logo

Gazley put the game away with the only shot of overtime, taking a Matt Watkins feed at the far post and beating netminder Eric Hartzell for his sixth goal of the season.

The scoring started early on Sunday, as Ryan Stoa beat Hartzell over the shoulder from the right side just 1:01 into the contest.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Dominik Uher forced a Hershey turnover, then left a drop pass for Harry Zolnierczyk, whose one-timer beat Bears netminder Philipp Grubauer 1:57 later to knot the score at 1-1. The goal was Zolnierczyk’s 16th of the season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and his second in as many nights.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Tom Kostopoulos put the visitors ahead at 12:08 of the opening period, picking up a rebound off of a Simon Despres point shot and burying it for his team-leading 18th goal of the campaign. It was also the 10th power play marker of the season for the veteran forward, tied for fourth in the AHL.

Watkins picked up the lone goal of the second frame, beating Hartzell with a backhander with 3:59 left in the period to tie the score at 2-2 after 40 minutes.

That score held until Dane Byers was awarded a penalty shot after apparently being interfered with by Philip Samuelsson on a breakaway. Byers’ wrist shot found its way past Hartzell at 10:49 of the third to regain the lead for the Bears.

But Bobby Farnham snapped a wrister of his own exactly six minutes later to force the extra frame. Carter Rowney and Samuelsson assisted on Farnham’s third of the year.

The Penguins snuffed all six Hershey power play opportunities, but were just one for five on the man advantage themselves. The Penguins are now 5-1-2-1 against their intra-state rivals this year, with three games to go in the season series.

The Penguins picked up five of a possible six points during their three-in-three weekend, and now head into the AHL All-Star break with 61 on the season, fourth in the Eastern Conference.

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