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BY DON SCOTT

The Hershey Bears dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday at Giant Center. Tobias Geisser and Beck Malenstyn both scored their third goals of the season for the Chocolate and White.

Tanner Fritz started the scoring for Hartford at 13:53 of the first period, before Geisser responded for the Bears. Skating four-on-four for two minutes, Geisser roofed a perfect shot from the left wing past Wolf Pack goaltender Keith Kinkaid for the equalizer.

Midway through regulation, Malenstyn provided Hershey with its first and only lead of the night. On the attack, Kody Clark slid a pass across to Malenstyn going towards the blue paint.

Eddie Wittchow recorded the secondary assist.

At 15:40 in the final period, Hartford had an odd-man rush and Jonny Brodzinski buried a two-on-one chance from the left circle past Zach Fucale to force sudden-death overtime and eventually a shootout.

The overtime period was scoreless, then in the shoot-out portion, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored in Round One for Hershey, but goals by Brodzinski and Tim Gettinger lifted the Pack to a 3-2 win. 

“We were still missing several key players who were injured in a previous game and we knew they were getting a caravan of players sent down from the Rangers, ” said Hershey head coach Scott Allen. “But I felt our guys performed well. All things being equal, I’m not disappointed in the performance of the team.

“I think it really says a lot about this team, both individually and collectively, that they have bought in to how they have to play to have a chance every night,” added Allen.

Final shots totaled 28-27 Hershey. The Bears finished 0-for-1 on the power play and two-for-two on the penalty kill.

The Bears return to action on Friday for the first of back-to-back road games with the Cleveland Monsters. Puck drop Friday from Rocket Mortgage Field House is 7 p.m., then at 2 p.m. on Saturday.    

Bears Notes:

Hershey’s record is 21-13-3-3 entering the upcoming weekend games.

Prior to the game, the Washington Capitals re-assigned goaltender Pheonix Copley to the team’s taxi squad.

Hershey played ten home games at Giant Center in January. In nine of those games, the Bears came away with standings points and posted a 7-1-1-1 record. In February, the Bears will play only three more times at Giant Center and eight games on the road. Entering the new month, Hershey’s record on the road is 6-7-1-0, after dropping its last three away tilts.

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