HERSHEY, Pa. - Paul Thompson set up the game-tying goal and then scored on a breakaway in overtime to give the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 2-1 win over the Hershey Bears at the Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic at Hersheypark Stadium.
The game drew a crowd of 17,311 fans -- the largest-ever for a Bears game in Hershey.
"Once you get through the feeling of the disappointment, I think each guy who participated today will feel it was a very special event and probably in their hockey career probably ranks pretty high for them," said Hershey coach Mark French.
Thompson grabbed a loose puck at the blue line at 1:19 in overtime and his snap shot clipped Bears goalie Dany Sabourin's glove and went into the net, giving the Penguins the win. Sabourin says he may never get over the disappointment of losing Hershey's outdoor game.
"I don't think so," said the goalie. "I hate losing. I love winning."
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Riley Holzapfel took a cross-ice pass from Thompson in the third period and beat Sabourin to tie the game, 1-1.
Hershey scored on Tomas Kundratek's one-timer in the slot at 15:40 in the second period. Sabourin earned the game's third star, stopping 18 of 20 shots.
"Everybody was pretty disappointed," said Kundratek. Everybody wanted to win this game because its a special game."
With strong winds and the temperature settling in the mid-30s, it took both teams time to adjust to the atmosphere.
"We played well for the most part," said center Jeff Taffe. "There were a few bad bounces; a few breakdowns. But its a great experience -- once in a lifetime for a lot of people.
"I hope guys really cherish it."