HERSHEY — Netminder Vitek Vanecek stopped 36 shots, but the Hershey Bears fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in overtime 2-1 Saturday night at Giant Center.
At 3:05 in the extra session, Dominik Simon scored for the Penguins to secure the win. With open ice, Simon beat Vanecek high, glove-side to end the game.
The overtime loss marks the first for the Bears this season, moving their record to 15-16-1-3. The Penguins improve to 18-10-2-1, earning their fourth win in six tries against Hershey on the regular season.
Tyler Graovac scored the lone goal for the Chocolate and White.
After a scoreless opening frame where Vanecek turned aside 15 shots, the Penguins broke into the goal column at 7:26 of the second period. Zach Aston-Reese fired a shot that glanced off the bottom of the cross-bar and into the cage to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
That stood until the third period, when the Bears finally solved Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Anthony Peters. Just 3:10 into the third period, Tyler Graovac finished a passing play and scored with a shot low to the ice after receiving a feed from Riley Barber.
In the final seconds of regulation, the Penguins had a glorious scoring chance to steal the game. After a 4-on-4 situation became an abbreviated power play for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Vanecek stopped a breakaway against Chris Summers to force overtime and earn the Bears a standings point.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey, 38-21. The Bears went 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Penguins were 0-for-4.
The Bears return to action following their New Year's layoff Jan. 6 against the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.