Bears rally to overtake Jacks, 5-3


Bob Wilkie ensured that the Hershey Bears enjoyed what probably will be their final regular-season visit to the Baltimore Arena.

Wilkie stole a pass and scored on a 15-foot shot with 16:33 left in the game to give Hershey the lead for good, and the Bears went on to score a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Skipjacks before 3,405 at the Baltimore Arena last night.

With the score tied at 3-3, the Skipjacks' Eric Murano tried to clear it around the boards. Wilkie swiped the puck near the blue line, skated in and beat Skipjacks goalie Byron Dafoe at 3:27 of the final period.

Andre Faust added an insurance goal for Hershey with 3:03 left. This goal came moments after Hershey goalie Scott LaGrand stopped Jeff Greenlaw from close range.

Hershey pulled to within four points of the Skipjacks, 60-56, in the fight for the last playoff position.

This would have been the final appearance for Hershey in Baltimore if the Skipjacks move, as expected, to Portland, Maine.

Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright said last night that deal is "98 percent done."

Hershey trailed twice in the early going as the Skipjacks led 2-1 after one period.

The Bears came alive after that, scoring four of the game's final five goals.

Terry Chitaroni scored the first Skipjacks goal.

He stole the puck from Gord Hynes along the boards near his blue line, skated in alone and beat LaGrand with a slap shot from the left circle at 14:31.

Tim Tookey tied it for Hershey just 1:25 later.

Baltimore took the lead again with only 49 seconds left in the period when John Byce redirected a shot from Brad Schlegel past LaGrand.

Pat Murray tied it for Hershey 5:28 into the second period when put the rebound of a shot by Corey Foster past Byron Dafoe.

Hershey then took the lead on a power play. Eric Dandenault pushed the puck past Dafoe after a goal-mouth scramble with 7:02 left in the period.

The Skipjacks then used another last-minute goal to tie the score at three. Jason Woolley scored from in front with 19 seconds left in the period. Eric Murano and Byce assisted.

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