Christian Djoos celebrates his game winning overtime goal against Hartford on Friday night in Hershey. (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

The Hershey Bears hosted the Hartford Wolf Pack looking for 2 points and hopefully advancing into a playoff spot for the first time since January. A back and forth game ended up with an overtime winner from Christian Djoos to give the Bears a 4-3 win.

After a quiet first period, the Bears found themselves behind in the second as Hartford’s Matt Carey tipped in a point shot to give the Wolf Pack the first lead of the game.

Hershey responded under 50 seconds later, as Christian Djoos drove the slot and fed Paul Carey to tie the game at one apiece.

It looked like the two teams would be deadlocked going into the third, but Hershey had other ideas. Carey returned the favor by winning a corner battle and sending a pass in front, and Djoos scored to give the Bears a 2-1 lead with 2.3 seconds left in the period.

Dan Catenacci tied the game for Hartford early in the third by burying a perfect centering pass and shooting past the sprawling Pheonix Copley. The Bears would regain the lead as Garrett Mitchell deflected a somewhat innocence Tom Gilbert shot to make it a 3-2 Hershey lead for much of the third.

Hartford tied it once more at 3, as Marek Hrivik broke his stick taking a shot, and the rebound went right to Niklas Jensen who put it in the net and eventually sent the game to overtime.

The Bears only needed 59 seconds before who else but Christian Djoos, his fourth point on the night, buried the game-winner on a great one-timer from Galiev. Djoos’ two goals and two assists would land him the game’s first star.

Tonight’s notes:

  • Pheonix Copley made 22 saves on 25 shots. Several were key saves, such as a breakaway he denied in the second period in a very defensive game by both teams
  • The game also features the return of defenseman Madison Bowey, who took the place of Colby Williams on defense. It was Bowey’s first game after missing 31 when he was injured in December.
  • The win, combined with Providence’s 3-0 win over Bridgeport, propelled the Bears into the fourth playoff position in the Atlantic Division. Hershey plays Hartford again at Giant Center tomorrow.

Quote that!

  • Christain Djoos on his overtime goal: “I was waiting for it. Galiev held onto the puck and at the right moment he passed to me.”
  • Madison Bowey on his first game back since injury: “The first period was a little rusty as I expected, but it was good just to get out there. To get the W on top of everything, it felt great.”
  • Troy Mann on Jonas Siegenthaler joining the Bears: “He’s going to fly in Monday. He’s not going to make the trip to St. John’s, but he’ll be here on Monday, practice with us Tuesday and do the skill development with us before practice on Wednesday. He won’t see any action the first week….We just felt it was best to get him into town so he didn’t have that 7-10 day pocket of not doing anything overseas.”

Lines:
C. Bourque-Stephenson-G. Mitchell
Carey-Boyd-Galiev
O’Brien-Walker-Barber
R. Bourque-Sill-Thomas

Djoos-Gilbert
Ness-Lewington
Labrie-Bowey

Three stars of the game:

      1. Christan Djoos – two goals, two assists
      2. Paul Carey – one goal, one assist
      3. Travis Boyd – three assists

Photos:

Chris Bourque hugs Madison Bowey before the game in Bowey’s first game back since getting injured on December 28.


Travis Boyd watches Paul Carey’s goal to tie the game 1-1.


Christian Djoos celebrates his second period goal late in the period.


Dan Catenacci ties the game at two-all.


Garrett Mitchell celebrates his goal to give Hershey the lead in the third period.


Game. Over.

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