HERSHEY — The Hershey Bears scored early, often and late to win a 6-5 shootout thriller over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night.

The win snapped a nine-game losing streak in front of 10,151 at Giant Center. Riley Barber scored twice in the victory and Travis Boyd, who had three points on the night, forced overtime with 3:48 left in regulation.

Hershey grabbed a 1-0 lead only 49 seconds in. In transition, Nathan Walker tallied his third goal of the season with a snap shot from the slot.

At 18:12, the Bears cashed in a power play opportunity to double their lead. Barber scored his team-leading 14th goal of the campaign after receiving a backdoor pass from Boyd.

In the second period, a scoring fest between the two sides started with Garrett Mitchell. At 4:15, the captain beat Charlotte goaltender Jeremy Smith with a slap shot from the right-wing to extend Hershey's lead to 3-0.

Charlotte began chipping away and mounted two separate comebacks in the middle stanza. Following a Roland McKeown strike at 7:47, Trevor Carrick cut the deficit to one goal only three seconds into a power play. Seconds after Colby Williams was rung for slashing, Carrick blasted a slap shot following the ensuing face-off win past Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek at 10:47. Carrick was later ejected from the game for a secondary altercation with Mason Mitchell.

At 14:54, Lucas Wallmark found the equalizer for the Checkers.

At 18:52, Barber scored his second of the night after catching Smith over committing to the right post. Hershey's lead lasted a mere 19 seconds, as Julien Gauthier tied the game at 19:01, sending a 4-4 deadlock into the third period.

At 10:43, Aleksi Saarela gave the Checkers their first lead of the night. However, at 16:12, the Bears scored for the third time on the man-advantage courtesy of Boyd.

The power play tally forced sudden-death overtime, which would not solve the 5-5 deadlock. Boyd scored the eventual shootout game-winner in Round 5, followed by a stop by Vanecek on Kuokkanen to clinch a 6-5 win.

The victory was Hershey's first since Jan. 7 in a game also against Charlotte.

Both teams rematch Sunday at 2 p.m.


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