HERSHEY, PA — Stefan Matteau’s early goal gave the Albany Devils a 1-0 lead after two periods, but the Hershey Bears netted four unanswered en route to a 4-1 victory Friday at Giant Center. Albany was trying to separate from Hershey in the Eastern Conference standings. The Devils (34-20-4-7) are now five points ahead of the ninth-place Bears (33-25-4-4) with 10 games remaining.
Matteau’s 12th goal of the season and first since Feb. 22 came with just 13 seconds remaining in the first period with the man advantage. After Kelly Zajac and Mattias Tedenby each had touches on the puck, Matteau sent a between the legs pass from the corner towards the front of the net. The puck deflected off a Bears defenseman and over the shoulder of goaltender David Leggio.
After a scoreless second period, Hershey’s Dan Byers scored from in front of the net at 9:51. The game-winning goal, score by Chay Genoway at 14:03, was a seeing-eye shot that beat a screened Scott Wedgewood.
Brandon Segal added to Hershey’s lead with a power-play goal at 18:59 and an empty-net tally at 19:57.
Wedgewood’s four-game winning streak was halted. He made 22 saves on 23 shots. Leggio earned his 19th win with 21 saves.
Albany went 1-5 on the power play and 2-4 on the penalty kill.
Next up, the Devils return home for a 5 pm outing against the Worcester Sharks Saturday at Times Union Center. The game is part of “Albany Devils Fight Cancer Night.” Tickets are $18 with $5 benefitting the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.