Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Pens drop Bears in overtime
nControversial penalty in overtime results in a power play that helps Wilkes-Barre/Scranton beat Hershey, 2-1. BY KEVIN FREEMAN, Sports Writer
HERSHEY -- The emotions that played out following the Hershey Bears' 2-1 overtime loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon at the Giant Center were stark.
Frustrating would probably rank highest, followed closely by self-blame.
Toss unbelievable in there, too.
With the game tied 1-1 in overtime, Hershey captain Boyd Kane was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Now, hockey referees often are targeted for not calling the most egregious penalties in OT, the thinking being that they don't want to give one team an advantage.
The call on Kane was 180 degrees from that.
A blatant trip on a breakaway? Make the call. Goaltender interference? Make the call.
Yelling at a linesman?
Yes, that's why Kane was sent to the box. Referee Trevor Hanson heard Kane complaining to a linesman that he didn't get out of the way fast enough with the puck along the boards in OT.
The Bears nearly killed the penalty, but with 10.8 seconds to play in the OT, the Penguins' Chad Kolarik beat Hershey goalie Dany Sabourin on a blast from the right point that hit the right post before entering the net.
"It was my fault," said Kane, who has a bit of reputation for chirping at the officials. "In that situation, I can't give them the chance to make that call. I overreacted."
Bears coach Mark French's assessment of the situation was much like Kane's.
"If you think you can control what might happen from an official's standpoint, you're kind of screwed," French said. "Boyd put himself in that position. The official had a choice to make the call but he shouldn't have been put in the position to make the call."
Still, the call, at that particular time, was out of the ordinary.
Hershey winger Jon DiSalvatore, a veteran of eight AHL seasons, said emotions are high during games, which might prompt a comment to the refs.
"It's a rarity," he said of the call. "But that's about all I can say."
The Bears' frustration was one thing. Another was that they were outshot 39-21 -- Hershey had three third-period shots, two on a power play -- and tried to sit on a one-goal lead. Not always ingredients for victory.
The game's undercurrent involved Hershey defenseman Steve Oleksy, who is something of an agitator. He fought Pens winger Bobby Farnham in the first period, and when he tried to avoid an open-ice hit by the Penguins' Steve MacIntyre in the second, he was called for clipping MacIntyre.
"You have to do what you can to defend yourself," Oleksy said. "(Farnham) is no stranger to fighting. He's doing his job and I'm doing mine. It wasn't a mismatch."
Later in the period, Mac-Intyre, who has the reputation for being the toughest fighter in the league, tried to put Oleksy through the end boards behind the Hershey net. Oleksy rolled off the hit and MacIntyre went to the penalty box for charging and unsportsmanlike conduct.
"The bottom line is we're playing playoff hockey right now and you've got to bring it and give it everything you have," Oleksy said.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead on the second of those power plays with Kane blasting a one-timer past Wilkes-Barre goalie Jeff Zatkoff off a feed from Julien Brouillette.
Meanwhile, Sabourin was denying the Penguins at every turn. But with 7:57 to play in the third period, Wilkes-Barre had the puck in front of Sabourin and kept jamming away until Riley Holzapfel shoved it across the goal line before the Bears were able to shove the Penguins away from the crease.
Sabourin made his best save of the night right after the goal, stopping Trevor Smith on a breakaway and keeping the game a tie.
Hershey had a power play late in the third period when Warren Peters was called for roughing. Ryan Potulny had a scoring chance from the slot but Zatkoff denied it.
Then came the fateful OT.
As if the feisty rivalry didn't need any more fuel, the Bears felt that the Penguins' victory celebration was a bit too showy. The same was said after the Pens beat the Bears in the Outdoor Classic a couple of weeks ago.
"It's arrogance on their part," Kane said.
"We play them again," Oleksy said.
Notes: Hershey D Patrick McNeill was a late scratch due to injury. Patrick Wellar, recalled recently from the Reading Royals, took his place. ... French did some line shuffling in the game, putting the recently acquired Peter LeBlanc at center between Ryan Stoa and Jon DiSalvatore. LeBlanc played right wing in Saturday's win over Manchester. ... Hershey takes on the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland on Tuesday before returning home to face Binghamton on Saturday.