On the same night Pheonix Copley recorded his first NHL win, Ilya Samsonov recorded his first AHL victory down on the farm in the Bears’ comeback 4-3 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Capitals 2015 first-round pick made 19 saves to improve his early season record to 1-3.
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After three weeks on the road, the Bears returned home to Giant Center for the first time since opening weekend to face their biggest rival.
The chocolate and white fell behind three separate times during the game, but came back each time, eventually forcing overtime. After Riley Barber could not convert on a breakaway in the extra session, the two teams went to a shootout. Barber scored in the second round and Shane Gersich scored the game-winner in round three.
Samsonov stopped both shots faced he faced to clinch the victory. The team mobbed him in the defensive zone.
Here are the full game highlights.
So far this season, Samsonov’s numbers are not pretty as a young Bears team, led by a new head coach, finds its way. Samsonov has a 3.70 goals against average and 86 percent save percentage in four starts this year, but has impressed his teammates and coach with his poise and confidence under fire. Lucas Johansen even compared the goaltender’s style to Carey Price.
Last week, Vitek Vanecek made three consecutive starts for the Bears as Samsonov sat out with an injury. Vanecek was named AHL player of the week after going 2-0-1 with a .949 save percentage.
More from the Bears:
(Hershey, PA – October 27, 2018)- The Hershey Bears returned home to Giant Center for the first time in 21 days and erased three separate one-goal deficits en route to a 4-3 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night. The victory marked Hershey’s first road win of the regular season. Bears goaltender Ilya Samsonov recorded his first career AHL win after stopping 19 of 22 shots.
Similar to the previous night’s Bears-Penguins meeting, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton drew first blood. On the transition, Zach Aston-Reese danced around a defender along the right wing and snapped a low shot past Samsonov at 14:51. The Bears finished the opening stanza 0-for-2 on the power play and held a 13-5 shot advantage.
Into the second period, the Chocolate and White wasted little time to draw even. After Aaron Ness dumped the puck into the offensive end after a neutral zone face-off win, the puck took a fortunate bounce away from an anticipating Pens’ goaltender Tristan Jarry. Mike Sgarbossa raced onto the loose puck in the slot and scored into a vacated net at :39. Wilkes-Barre responded and grabbed their second lead of the night at the 6:40 mark. Teddy Blueger beat Samsonov with a snap shot from the slot for his third goal of the season.
The Bears continued to successfully control the momentum swings in the second period, and Riley Barber capitalized on a breakaway opportunity. After he received a hit during an offensive shift, Barber later fielded a headman pass at the blue line and sneaked behind the defense. Barber converted five-hole on Jarry for Hershey’s first shorthanded goal of the season at 11:16. In a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes, shots were in the Bears favor, 22-13.
In the third period, the Chocolate and White once again fell behind, but rallied back moments later. Ethan Prow scored at the 3:11 mark to provide the Pens with their third separate one-goal advantage. Prow finished a cross-ice feed from Adam Johnson into an open net for the go-ahead tally. Only 47 seconds later, the Bears responded courtesy of Beck Malenstyn’s first AHL goal. In similar fashion to Prow’s goal for the Pens, Steve Whitney threw a puck across the low-slot to an open Beck Malenstyn to tie the game.
After sudden-death overtime completed, both teams progressed to a shootout. Barber and Shane Gersich scored for the Bears, while Ilya Samsonov stopped both shots faced for the 4-3 victory in front of 9,783 fans at Giant Center. Hershey improved their record to 3-6-0-1 on the season. Hershey finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, while also holding a 39-22 advantage in shots.
The Hershey Bears return to the ice and conclude their current three-in-three tomorrow with their first of 12 meetings this season against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It’s David A. Smith Printing Team Photo Night, Autograph Night and Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog Night at Giant Center. Fans will be welcomed onto the ice for a 75 minute post game autograph session. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. Ticket information is available online at HersheyBears.com.
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