The Lehigh Valley Phantoms opened the scoring at the PPL Center just 1:22 into the game. After the Bears turned the puck over along the boards, Kevin Goumas centered a pass for Tyrell Goulbourne’s fifth goal of the season.
Hershey’s response following the goal could not have been better, as they pieced a near full two minutes of offensive zone time in front of Connor Knapp. The Chocolate and White were eventually rewarded, and it came via Mike Moore’s first goal of the season. He ripped a shot from the center point past Knapp to tie the game at 8:38.
Tyler Lewington will add a souvenir puck to his personal collection with his first professional hockey league goal in his first period. He floated a shot from the outside that appeared to change speed and allude Knapp. Lewington’s tally came at 12:24 for a Hershey 2-1 lead.
Lehigh would capitalize on their first and only power play chance of the frame, thanks to Taylor Leier. Leier stuffed a shot short side, to the top shelf on Dan Ellis with 5:51 to play, rounding out the period’s scoring.
The Bears grabbed their second lead of the night 4:35 into the middle period. Austin Fyten earned his first point of the season on a crisp feed to Travis Boyd for a short side stuff in. Once more Lehigh Valley found the equalizer, as they improved to a perfect 2-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Petr Straka scored five-hole on Ellis for his 13th goal of the season with 9:09 left to play. 6:07 later, Straka buried his 14th goal after finishing a juicy rebound left by Ellis to make it 4-3 Phantoms into second intermission.
Hershey entered the third period trailing, and came into the game with a 1-5-0-1 record when down after 40 minutes. Nathan Walker crashed the net and cleaned up a rebound to knot the game at 4-4 with 7:52 left.
Goulbourne tallied his second of the night with 3:47 left to give Lehigh a 5-4 lead. But the relentlessness continued, and remarkably Paul Carey tied the game 20 seconds later. These teams will meet nine more times this season. That in itself is the best news of the night.
Sudden death, 3-on-3 overtime will be required for Hershey’s second consecutive game.
Overtime solved nothing, but increased the heart rates of 8,262 fans in attendance.
The skills competition unfortunately continues to be an area of struggle for the Chocolate and White. They fall in five rounds after Tim Brent hits the game-winner in the top half. The Bears record drops to 10-5-0-4, ending their four game win streak.
On the flip side, Hershey still has points in five consecutive games, and you can tribute that to the relentless effort in the late-going to continuously come from behind, forcing extra time.
Three out of four points on the week have been achieved with the finale coming in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow.
Time to win the week tomorrow and beat up on the Pens!
Submitted by intern Matt Trust