WILKES-BARRE — The Hershey Bears ended the weekend with a shootout victory, topping rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 3-2, on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The win was Hershey's first in a shootout since Apr. 17, 2016, snapping a five-game game losing streak. Wayne Simpson scored a goal in regulation, and also added the shootout winner for Hershey.
Only 1:18 into the contest, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton broke through Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley. Daniel Sprong notched his eighth goal on the young season off a deflection from the low-slot. Kevin Czuczman was credited with the primary assist on the play.
With 2:09 left in the period, Wayne Simpson drew the game even for Hershey. Simpson received a crisp feed from Lucas Johansen from the left wing, and Simpson moved from the center-point into the high slot. His release beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Casey DeSmith for his third goal of the season.
Into the second period, Travis Boyd gave Hershey its first lead of the evening. With 10:34 left, Boyd wristed a shot past DeSmith following a pass from Chris Bourque. Bourque's helper is his 13th assist of the season in his 800th career professional hockey game. Johansen was credited with the secondary assist for his second point of the evening.
Hershey carried a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes. It marked the first time of the season the Bears possessed a lead after 40 minutes of play on the road. In the third period, the Penguins would not go down quietly. With 8:21 left in regulation, Zach Aston-Reese tied the game on a wraparound that beat Copley five-hole.
Overtime was a necessity for the Bears for the second time this weekend. Similar to Friday's contest in Rochester, 3-on-3 sudden death overtime was not enough, and Hershey's third shootout of the season was required. However, unlike Friday, the Bears came away with the shootout win. Simpson scored the lone goal in the bottom of the first round, and Copley stopped all three shots he faced to secure the victory.
The win for Hershey improves their season series record against the Penguins to 1-1-0-0. Both sides will meet 10 more times before the conclusion of the regular season.
Hershey's win snapped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's six game winning streak and improved their record to 4-6-0-2. The Penguins record slides to 7-2-0-1 on the campaign.