HERSHEY — The Hershey Bears dropped a 3-2 shootout battle to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their 12th and final meeting of the regular season on Sunday at Giant Center. Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley stopped 33 shots to help the Bears earn a point in the standings.
The Bears yielded the opening tally of the game Sunday. Shorthanded, Lehigh Valley's Corban Knight stormed the zone on a breakaway and beat Copley glove side to make it 1-0 Lehigh Valley at 7:54.
The Chocolate and White answered before the period expired to draw even. On a breakaway of their own, Riley Barber found Joe Whitney on a pass up the ice. Whitney went blocker side on Lehigh Valley goaltender John Muse to even the score, 1-1. The goal was Whitney's 12th of the season.
Hershey grabbed their first lead of the game courtesy of a second period power play. After Tyrell Goulbourne was flagged for hooking at 3:04, Hershey's Tim McGauley found Wayne Simpson on a centering feed for a point-blank chance. McGauley earned his first career AHL point, and Simpson added his 12th goal of the season at 4:51.
Lehigh Valley found the equalizer before the period ended to tie the game, 2-2. With the Bears pinned in their own end, Mikhail Vorobyev fired a quick snapshot to the top shelf past Copley at 13:56.
A scoreless third period and sudden-death overtime frame led to a shootout. Whitney put the Bears ahead in the third round, but was answered by Knight to keep the game alive. Into extra rounds, Vorobyev tallied in the bottom of the fifth round to win the game for the Phantoms, 3-2.
Final shots on goal totals were 36-24 in favor of the Phantoms. The Bears finished 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Hershey ended the season 2-7-1-2 vs. Lehigh Valley. Overall, Hershey is 24-27-4-5.