Rochester, NY– It seemed as though Hershey would run the Americans out of their own building early on.  But hockey is a three-period game and once the first period was over it was anybody’s game.  Ultimately the high scoring shootout was decided with an actual shootout where the Americans came out on top by a 7-6 final.

Looking to get the ship righted the Bears sorely needed a positive start.  They got exactly that thanks to a go-to workhorse Travis Boyd.  Just 44 seconds into the game, Travis Boyd one-timed a feed from Jeremy Langlois home for the quick 1-0 Hershey lead.

Nearly five minutes later the Chris Bourque padded the lead on the power play.  Riley Barber fired a shot toward the goal that Bourque got a piece of causing the puck to rainbow up and over the reach of Linus Ullmark and into the net.

The offensive onslaught continued shortly afterward as Anthony Peluso picked off a pass in the Bears zone and Mathias Bau returned the puck to him.  Peluso was free and clear to the net and backhanded home the third goal of the frame for Hershey.

After being completely dominated for the first ten minutes or so, Rochester made a push.  They were given a lengthy five-on-three which gave Pheonix Copley his first legitimate and dangerous work of the night.  Copley making his season debut after injury looked solid and handled every shot to take the period into intermission with a 3-0 lead for his team.

Then the second period happened and all hell broke loose.  Rochester came out a completely different team.  Odd man rushes proved to be the undoing of the Bears in this frame.  First, it was Garrett Ross on a pass from Colin Blackwell to get the Amerks on the board. Then it was Kevin Porter on the rebound from Steve Moses chance.  Copley made the save initially but couldn’t handle the second attempt.  Three minutes later on a power play with another delayed call against Hershey, Brendan Guhle tied the game up at three with a shot from the point.  Kyle Criscuolo and Eric Cornel added two more goals to extend the Amerks lead to 5-3.

Riley Barber did manage to get one back on a Bears power play.

The momentum was short lived before Hudson Fasching restored the two-goal lead for Rochester at the end of the chaotic second.

After surrendering six goals on 19 shots in the second period, Hershey came out hopping much like the first period.  Nearly seven minutes in Bears rookie defenseman Lucas Johansen channeled his inner Christian Djoos. A nifty move at the point he fired a shot from the point that went top shelf to cut the deficit to 6-5.

Gradually the Bears pushed the pace and with just over five minutes to play in regulation, Hubert Labrie crashing into the net buried a rebound to even the game at six apiece.

The score would remain tied through the end of regulation and through overtime.
In the shootout, C.J. Smith and Eric Cornel scored for Rochester to lift the Americans to the 7-6 shootout victory.

Notes: Pheonix Copley made 30 saves on 36 shots in his first game back from pre-season injury.  It’s going to take a few starts to get him back into the swing of things but he shouldn’t be held responsible for six goals against.  He’ll likely have a chance to redeem his goals against average on Sunday.

Four Bears had multi-point games including Travis Boyd who recorded his fifth multi-point game of the season.  With the goal and assist, Lucas Johansen now has his first career two-point game.

The Bears normally strong had an uncharacteristically poor showing.  The Amerks scored three power play goals and finished 3/7 with the extra man.  The Bears were able to answer with two power-play goals of their own finishing 2/6.

Three Stars:
1. Chris Bourque 1 HER G, 3 A
2. Brendan Guhle ROC 1 G, 1 A
3. Kevin Porter ROC 1 G, 1 A

Hershey returns to Giant Center tomorrow where they host the Toronto Marlies at 7 PM. They’ll finish out the weekend on the road in Wilkes-Barre to take on the Penguins at 3 PM.

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