Saturday, November 8, 2014

Listless Bears Fall to Pens in OT

Friday night's game against the Penguins was definitely an odd one for the Bears. Despite being outplayed and out shot throughout the game, the Bears led 2-0 after two periods and then lost 3-2 in overtime. No one really stood out for Hershey except for Philip Grubauer, who faced 34 total shots and kept the team in it until the end.

The first period was all Wilkes-Barre as the Pens dominated the Bears. The Pens controlled the majority of the play and at times kept Hershey stuck in its own end. The Bears had some good rushes but were unable to get any sustained pressure on goalie Matt Murray. In fact, the Bears were only able to register 2 shots in that first period.

Hershey came out looking a little better in the second period as it seemed like they had gotten their legs under them. The play was a bit more even as Hershey tried to keep pace even though they were outshot by Wilkes-Barre 11-7. And with goals by Jon Landry and Casey Wellman it appeared the Bears might be able to squeak out a win.

The third period tilted decidedly in the Pens favor as they out shot the Bears 13-6. The Pens made it 2-1 about halfway through the period on a goal by Taylor Chorney. He would factor into the game tying goal with 47 seconds left as his point shot was deflected by Jason Megna.

Interestingly, late in the third when it was still 2-1 Bears, Nathan Walker had a breakaway and could have made it 3-1 with his first goal of the year but shot the puck wide. It ended up being big missed opportunity.

The Pens would win a minute into overtime on another goal by Megna from a nice cross crease pass by Derrik Pouliot. Beau Bennett of the Pittsburgh Penguins appears to be in Wilkes-Barre on a conditioning stint. The line of Bennett-Megna-Andrew Ebbett was dominate for the Pens and at times looked to be on the ice every other shift.

Regardless, the Bears just didn't seem to have any life and even Troy Mann (per Tim Leone's Penn Live post game blog post) stated that this was Hershey's worst game so far. However, had Hershey hung on to win 2-1 or 3-1, today everyone would be saying that the Bears won a game they didn't deserve to win. Or that it was a game stolen by Gurbauer.

Let's hope Saturday and Sunday's games at Giant Center show a better effort and outcome.

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