Tey were a pair of Calder Cup Semifinal Game 2's over the weekend as the Hamilton Bulldogs and Hershey Bears are strolling towards a matchup in the AHL Calder Cup Final. The League's top 2 teams have used tight games so far in their first 2 wins as the Bulldogs used 2nd period goals from Ryan Russell and Alex Henry to counter a goal scored by Warren Peters to go up 2-1 at the 2nd intermission.
Then a 3rd goal by Mike Glumac put the game away for the Bulldogs. For the league's best defensive team during the regular season as they gave up just 182 goals in 80 games. So far in 2 games against Texas, the Bulldogs have given up just 3 goals on 43 shots which included an OT Winner in Game 1 just 14 seconds into Game 2. Texas is looking to use some home cooking and some desperation to comeback in this series as Game 3 will be on Wednesday Night.
In the East Final between Hershey and Manchester, the Bears have a 7 game winning streak going after a 3-2 OT Win where the Hershey duo of Chris Bourque and Alexander Giroux continue to lead the league in playoff scoring with 18 points each in 11 games played.
Unless something dramatically changes happen in this series, expect the top teams in both conference to faceoff for the AHL Calder Cup Title as both the Bears and Bulldogs are up 2-0 in their best-of-7 series as the series shift to Manchester, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas this week. Can either team make this series, or will see two quick series that will go by fast.
Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs Game 2 on Sunday Afternoon: www.texasstarshockey.com
From Hamilton, Ontario: The Texas Stars were defeated by the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-1 on Sunday in front of 2897 fans at the Copps Coliseum in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Hamilton forward Brock Trotter set up two goals, including the game winner goal by defensemen Alex Henry at 4:52 of the 2nd period.
Bulldogs Curtis Sanford stopped 22 Texas shots for his 4th straight win. Texas goalie Matt Climie made 27 saves in his 2nd straight defeat. Stars Center Warren Peters scored the only Texas goal of the night. Game 3 is at 7:30 PM at the Cedar Park Center on Wednesday Night.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs opened the scoring with a power play goal 28 seconds into the middle frame. Brock Trotter sent a cross-ice pass to the right wing circle of a Ryan Russell one-timer. Russel shot zipped by Texas Goalie Matt Climie for the 1-0 Hamilton led and his fifth goal of the playoffs. Hamilton made it 2-0 at 4:52 as a Texas Power Play expired. Brock Trotter blocked a pass at center and worked the puck deep to the Texas Crease.
Trotter dropped a pass from defensemen Alex Henry, who scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. Texas trimmed down Hamilton's lead to 2-1 prior to the end of the period. Center Warren Peters picked up behind the Hamilton net-minder and played the puck off the back of Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford for his third goal of the playoffs at 17:40. Defensemen Andrew Hutchinson and Dan Jancevski each picked up an assist on the one timer.
In the third period, the Bulldogs regained their two goal lead at 10:59. Grant Stevenson set up Mike Glumac for a one-timer from the top of the left wing circle. Glumac's ninth goal of the postseason finished off a two-on-one rush for Hamilton and extended the Bulldogs lead to 3-1.
Western Conference Final Update
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (OT)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3
Game 3, 5/19: Hamilton Bulldogs VS. Texas Stars 7:30 PM
Game 4, 5/21: Hamilton Bulldogs VS. Texas Stars 7:30 PM
Game 5, 5/22: Hamilton Bulldogs VS. Texas Stars 7:00 PM*
Game 6, 5/24: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 6:30 PM*
Game 7, 5/26: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 6:30 PM*
The Series shifts to Cedar Park, Texas for Games 3 through 5. Game 3 will be on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:30 PM, then Game 4 on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 PM. If possible, Game 5 will be on Saturday Night, May 22 at 7:00 PM at the Cedar Park Center. If, necessary Games 6 and 7 would be played back in Hamilton, Ontario, starting with Game 6 on Monday May 24 at 7:30 PM EDT/6:30 PM EDT. Game 7 would be slated for Wednesday May 26 at 7:30 PM EDT/6:30 PM CDT.
Cedar Park Boxoffice: 512-467-8277
By visiting any Ticketmaster Outlet or at www.ticketmaster.com or at 1-800-745-3000
Hamilton Bulldogs Lead Series 2-0
Hamilton Bulldogs 3 Texas Stars 1 (0-0, 2-1, 1-0)
1-0 HAM: Ryan Russell (PP) (Trotter, Desharnais) 0:28 2nd
2-0 HAM: Alex Henry (Trotter) 4:52 2nd
2-1 TEX: Warren Peters (Hutchinson, Jancevski) 17:40 2nd
3-1 HAM: Mike Glumac (Stevenson, Belle) 10:59 3rd
SOG: TEX 23 HAM 30
PP: TEX 0/4 HAM 1/2
PIM: TEX 36 Minutes on 6 Penalties HAM 38 Minutes on 7 Penalties
Goalies: TEX Matt Climie 27 SVS on 30 Shots HAM Curtis Sanford 22 SVS on 23 Shots
3rd Star: Warren Peters (TEX)
2nd Star: Curtis Sanford (HAM)
1st Star: Brock Trotter (HAM)
Hershey Bears VS. Manchester Monarchs Game 2 on Saturday Night. From the American Hockey League Website: http://theahl.com
From Hershey, Pennsylvania: Chris Bourque finished off a nifty two-on-one by firing a shot home short side from the right wing at 10:28 of overtime, lifting Hershey to a 3-2 come-from-behind from victory on Saturday before a standing room crowd of 10,726 fans at the Giant Center.
The defending Calder Cup Champions Bears improved to a perfect 5-0 in OT games this postseason and took a 2-0 series lead on the Monarchs in the Eastern Conference Finals, which will shift to Manchester for Game 3 on Monday Night.
Keith Aucoin picked up the primary assist on the game winning goal after being sent on the two-on-one by Boyd Kane, who earned the other helper. Bourque's shot went in as the net came off its moorings behind the Monarchs goalie Jonathan Bernier, but it was determined that the net had been pushed off by Manchester Defenders, allowing the goal to stand.
Hershey, which trailed 2-1 heading into the 3rd period, improved to an impressive 4-1 in the playoffs when trailing after the 2nd period. The only game the Bears have lost in the playoffs was Game 4 of the East Division Semifinal against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Bourque also scored in the first period to give the Bears a 1-0 lead, but the Monarchs grabbed a 2-1 advantage on a pair of strikes from Gabe Gauthier, one of which came on the power-play.
Gauthier now tallied a goal in five of the last six games, and he has registered at least a point in all six of those contest (6G 1A).
Manchester's lead lasted until 3:35 of the third period, when Bears forward Steve Pinizotto buired his fourth goal of the playoffs. Aucoin also earned an assist on that marker.
Hershey Goalie Michael Neuvirth earned that victory with 31 saves on 33 shots in net, while the Baz Bastien Award Winner made 37 saves in the losing efforts for the Monarchs.
The Hershey Bears lead the Series 2-0
Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 3 (OT) (1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
0-1 HER: Chris Bourque (Beagle) 3:07 1st
1-1 MAN: Gabe Gauthier (PP) (Lewis, Clifford) 13:58 1st
2-1 MAN: Gabe Gauthier (Bagnall, Elkins) 1:07 2nd
2-2 HER: Steve Pinizzotto (Bouchard, Aucoin) 3:35 3rd
2-3 HER: Chris Bourque (Aucoin, Kane) 10:28 OT
SOG: MAN 33 HER 40
PP: MAN 1/4 HER 0/4
PIM: MAN 15 Minutes on 6 Penalties HER 15 Minutes on 6 Penalties
Goalies: MAN Jonathan Bernier 37 SVS on 40 Shots HER Michal Neuvirth 31 SVS on 33 Shots
3rd Star: Jonathan Bernier (MAN)
2nd Star: Michal Neuvirth (HER)
1st Star: Chris Bourque (HER)
Game 1: Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 4 (0-2, 0-1, 2-1)
Game 2: Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 3 (OT) (1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Game 3, 5/17: @ Manchester 7:00 PM (EDT)
Game 4, 5/18: @ Manchester 7:00 PM (EDT)
Game 5, 5/20: @ Manchester 7:00 PM (EDT)*
Game 6, 5/22: @ Hershey 7:00 PM (EDT)*
Game 7, 5/23: @ Hershey 5:00 PM (EDT)*
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