Syracuse would take an early lead only 31 seconds into the game when Evan Rankin would find the back of the net. Nicolas Deschamps intercepted and went top shelf with the puck to put the Bears on the board and tie the game at one. Rankin would backhand one in past David Leggio halfway though the first.
Rankin would stay hot and get the hat trick 7:49 into the second. Hershey would struggle to find the back of the net most of the second period, until David Kolomatis would put home his fourth of the season with two minutes remaining in the period.
With time winding down in the third, Brandon Segal would tie the game at three and force it to an overtime.
Like most overtimes this year for Hershey, neither team was successful in finishing the game then and there, sending the game to a shootout.
It would take 11 rounds to decide a winner, when John Mitchell would sneak one past Kristers Gudlevskis, giving Hershey the extra point and the W in the standings.
The win keeps the Bears rolling, now two games over 500. “It’s huge,” said coach Mike Haviland. “We talked about yesterday, this morning, before the game and between periods. We need to start stringing some wins together here, believing in ourselves and believing that we can do it. The last few games we’ve shown a lot of character in coming back. When we play the way we are capable of playing we can hem some teams in, when everyone is on board and doing the right things.”
Segal is among the players who have really stepped up their game. “Our line has some good chemistry going. We move the puck really well down low. That’s a big win for us. Especially since it’s a division game. I know Syracuse has been struggling with injuries and call ups. We have to keep moving forward and take advantage of it as much as possible.”
“There’s something in that room that’s going on right now,” said Haviland. “They really believe in one another. They believe they can come back and score goals. When you start to get points and come back on teams, you get that belief going. This game is a lot about confidence. You see a lot more guys with a lot more confidence with the puck. When you have that you’re going to have success.”
Hershey is back home Saturday night to face the Worcester Sharks.