ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Connor Carrick and Mike Moore provided the Hershey Bears offense, but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms would battle from the two-goal deficit and Nick Cousins would win the game with 1:15 left in overtime for a 3-2 decision on Wednesday night at PPL Center.
The Bears’ fast start resulted in the first power play of the game. Carrick would get a perfect pass from Chris Bourque, and from the inside of the left circle, he let a low slapper fly that squirted through the pads of Anthony Stolarz at 6:09 of the opening period.
The Bears added to their lead in a four-on-four situation in the second period. Travis Boyd made a nifty play to draw two Phantoms to him inside the left circle. Boyd spotted Moore pinching down at the net front, and found him with a behind-the-back pass. Moore drilled a one-timer behind Stolarz from in close for his second goal in as many games in Allentown, and gave the Bears a 2-0 advantage at 9:06.
The Bears were in control for most of the game but found themselves hemmed in on a shift during the third period. Colin McDonald froze the puck along the left boards and waited until Petr Straka came off the bench. Straka collected the puck, skated down the left wing and fired a wrist shot that snuck past Dan Ellis’ stick side at 11:22.
Danick Martel, who set up Straka’s goal, would then collect a pass from Taylor Leier and skate down the slot untouched. His shot sailed into the upper-right corner with 2:59 left in regulation, knotting the score.
The Phantoms controlled the first portion of overtime, and later defended against two Hershey shots. On the ensuing three-on-two rush, Leier hit Cousins with a pass in the slot and Cousins’ shot beat Ellis for the winner.
Ellis made 28 saves in earning the game’s second star honors but fell to 6-3-3. Stolarz stopped 19 of 21 to improve to 10-5-1. Hershey finished 1-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Bears return home to host the Binghamton Senators for the first time this season on Saturday, December 12 at 7:00 PM. Fans are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for the club’s annual Toys for Tots campaign