ROCHESTER, NY — Chris Bourque had four points for the Hershey Bears, but the Rochester Americans topped Hershey in a shootout, 7-6, on Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena. In a back and forth game, Hershey led 3-0 after the first period, Rochester scored six goals in the second period, and the Bears answered with two goals in the third period to force overtime.
In the first period, the Bears were off and running by posting a crooked number in the first 6:56. Travis Boyd blasted a shot on an offensive entry past Linus Ullmark to open the scoring only 44 seconds in to the game to make it 1-0 Hershey. Chris Bourque added a power play goal tally at the 5:43 mark after a shot popped up and the air and glanced into the cage to double Hershey's lead.
Only 1:13 later, Mathias Bau fed Anthony Peluso on a head-man pass into the Rochester zone. On a breakaway, Peluso dangled and scored his first goal Bear to put his club up 3-0 after 20 minutes. The assist for Bau was his first AHL point.
Into the middle frame, Rochester punched back with five unanswered goals in the first 7:45 of the period. Six different Americans scored in the period in total, and it started with Garret Ross at the 2:28 mark. On an offensive entry, Ross fired a quick shot that beat Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley low to the ice to cut their deficit to two goals.
Only 1:23 later, Kevin Porter drew Rochester closer to make it 3-2 Hershey. With 13:10 remaining in the frame, Porter set the table for Brendan Guhle, who received credit for his first goal of the season to tie the contest. The goal came on a delayed penalty eventually assessed to Tyler Lewington for cross-checking, with Hershey already in the process of killing a minor.
It set the stage for another Americans power play goal only 44 seconds later. Kyle Criscuolo deflected a shot past Copley to give his team the lead for the first time of the night at 7:33. 58 seconds later, Rochester tacked on their final goal of a five-goal unanswered run to pull ahead by two. Eric Cornel received credit for his first of the season at 8:31.
Hershey's Riley Barber stopped the bleeding and pulled Hershey within one on the power play. Barber finished a crisp passing play courtesy of Kelly Zajac and Chris Bourque to make it a 5-4 game with 9:55 left in the second period.
Rochester, however, would continuously answer a Hershey high with a high of their own. Just 1:25 later, Hudson Fasching finished a power play sequence for the Americans to regain his club's two-goal lead. Leading in shots 30-21 after 40 minutes, Rochester carried a 6-4 lead into the third period.
In the game's final frame, the Chocolate and White showed fight with a two-goal rally with both tallies coming from defenders. Lucas Johansen notched his second goal in as many games at 6:53 to pull Hershey within one at 6-5.
It set the stage for an unlikely hero to tie the game late in Hubert Labrie. With 5:02 left in regulation, Labrie pinched deep into the offensive zone and found the puck at the left post for the finish. Bourque received his third assist and fourth point of the night on the goal, placing him at 11 helpers on the season.
A five minute, sudden-death overtime in Rochester would not decide a winner, and the game advanced the full distance to a three round shootout. Hershey's Wayne Simpson scored in the second round, but Eric Cornel capitalized in the top of round 3 to give Rochester a 7-6 edge over Hershey.