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Bears Pick Up Initial Triumph of Season

By Don Scott

The Hershey Bears hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday, and had to overcome three separate one-goal deficits, then take its only lead of the contest with one second remaining in overtime, to claim a 4-3 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Travis Boyd, making his season debut since being assigned to the Bears from Washington, blasted a shot past J.F. Berube at 4:59 of the extra period with the Bears on a power play for Hershey’s initial win of the young season.

Maksim Sushko scored on a redirection in front of Bears goaltender Vitek Vanecek just 3:26 into the game, and Beck Malenstyn evened the score at the 5:35 mark. 

The Phantoms regained a 2-1 lead at 13:03, after Joel Farabee finished a cross-ice pass on a quick transition play. The Bears, on a power play, pulled even when Christian Djoos found Mike Sgarbossa all alone for an easy tap in.

Following a scoreless middle session, Isaac Ratcliffe gave Lehigh Valley its third lead, on a delayed penalty at 3:54. Hershey’s Mike Sgarbossa and Matt Moulson setup Boyd to make it 3-3 to force overtime. 

Final shots were 32-26 in favor of the Bears who were 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Erik Burgdoerfer played in his 600th professional game, that included 272 ECHL games, 319 AHL, and eight NHL appearances dating back to 2010.

Today at 5 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton visits Giant Center and then the Bears take off on a four-game road trip with stops in Toronto, Belleville, Laval and Rochester, before hosting Utica on Saturday, Oct. 26

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