By Don Scott
Andy Welinski scored the overtime winner with 32 seconds remaining in the overtime period Saturday to give the Lehigh Valley Phantoms a 3-2 win over the visiting Hershey Bears.
The Bears opened the game with the first eight shots of the contest against goaltender Alex Lyon, but it was the Phantoms who took a 1-0 lead on their initial chance. Mikhail Vorobyev scored shorthanded at 6:28 after intercepting a Joe Snively pass in the neutral zone and beaingt Pheonix Copley on a forehand-backhand move.
Shots after 20 minutes were 12-9 Hershey, with the Bears trailing by a goal.
At 3:43 of the second period, Hershey’s Kale Kessy fought Kurtis Gabriel that helped Kessy surpass 1,000 career penalty minutes in his pro career, then seven seconds later Matt Moulson tied the score for Hershey firing a shot past Alex Lyon.
At 7:54, Hershey grabbed its only lead of the night on a bizarre shot by Liam O’Brien that went around the glass and deflected near the net, hitting Lyon’s goalie mask and ricochetting into the net. Before the period ended Greg Carey tallied the equalizer with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 19:16.
The teams battled through a scoreless third period to send it into the 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime, that Welinski ended in the closing seconds.
Bears forward Mike Sgarbossa played in his 400th American Hockey League game.
Hershey’s power-play goal drought was extended to 10 games. The Bears last power play strike came on Oct. 13 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Giant Center. Since then they are 0-for 35.
The Bears return to action Sunday at 5 p.m. at Giant Center against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.