Friday, May 21, 2010

Hershey on verge of the Calder Cup Final with 3-2 OT Win

In the 3rd OT Game of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals, the game took a while to get going as the Bears and Monarchs played Game 5 from the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire as the teams were scoreless through 2 periods. Both goalies Neuvirth and Bernier each were busy as they stopped 16 & 18 saves through 2 periods.

From then on, the teams swapped goals as the 3rd period fireworks got going with 9 minutes left as Kyle Wilson and Chris Bourque in between Manchester's 2nd goal by Jacob Muzzin as the Monarchs scored both goals on the power play.

With the Bears having to comeback, it took it's first and only lead of the night Francois Bouchard midway through the 1st OT to win the game and take a 3-2 series lead for the Bears as Game 6 will return to Hershey on Saturday Night with a chance to end the Monarchs season and have a shot at the Calder Cup for the 2nd straight year.

One big thing that helped Hershey in the OT was the ability to tilt the ice in favor of them as they were able to out-shot the Monarchs 9-2 in the extra frame.

From the American Hockey League Website:

From Manchester, New Hampshire: Hershey forward Chris Bourque tied the game at 19:09 of the third period, and Francois Bouchard scored 10:38 into OT to give Hershey a dramatic 3-2 road win over Manchester in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday Night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

The Bears took a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-7 series and can clinch their second straight trip to the Calder Cup Finals - and fourth in the last 5 years - with a win at home in Game 6 on Saturday Night.

The teams played scoreless hockey for 2 periods and into the early stages of the 3rd period before Monarchs forward Bud Holloway broke the deadlock on the power-play at the four minute mark, his seventh goal of the postseason.

Bears Center Kyle Wilson answered at 11:41 when he converted a backdoor feed from Boyd Kane to be Manchester Monarchs goalie Jonathan Bernier and tie the contest at 1-1.

It marked Hershey's first goal in span of 130:29 since Mathieu Perreult scored early in the third period of the club's overtime loss in Game 3. The Bears, who have never been shutout in back-to-back playoff games, suffered a 1-0 defeat in Game 4 on Tuesday.

The Monarchs moved ahead once again courtesy of another power play goal, as rookie defensemen Jacob Muzzin scored from the right circle of 17:26 for his first professional marker. Thomas Hickey earned his second assist of the night on the play, while Holloway picked up the other helper.

But with goaltender Michal Neuvirth pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Hershey found a way to tie it. Coming off a timeout, Bourque sent a shot from the right boards through some bodies and past Bernier with less then 51 seconds to play in regulation, while Alexander Giroux and Keith Aucoin.

Both teams had golden opportunities to end it in overtime, but Bochard finally crashed in for the Bears at 10:38 when he collected a rebound in the slot and fired it home before a sprawled-out Bernier was unable to recover from an initial shot by Perreault.

Hershey improved to 6-1 in overtime this postseason and handed Manchester just its second loss at home. Neuvirth finished 27 of 29 shots in the winning effort, while Bernier took the loss after making 32 shots for the Monarchs.

Hershey Bears lead the Series 3-2

Game Boxscore

Hershey Bears 3 Manchester Monarchs 2 (OT) (0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 1-0)

0-1 MAN: Bud Holloway (PP) (Hickey, King) 4:00 3rd

1-1 HER: Kyle Wilson (Kane, Pinizzotto) 11:41 3rd

1-2 MAN: Jacob Muzzin (PP) (Hickey, Holloway) 17:26 3rd

2-2 HER: Chris Bourque (Giroux, Aucoin) 19:09 3rd

3-2 HER: Francois Bouchard (Perreault, Bouqure) 10:38 OT

Game Stats

SOG: HER 35 MAN 29

PP: HER 0/2 MAN 2/3

PIM: HER 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties MAN 6 Minutes on 3 Penalties

Goalies: HER Michal Neuvirth 27 SVS on 29 Shots MAN Jonathan Bernier 32 SVS on 35 Shots

ATT: 2803

3rd Star: Jacob Muzzin (MAN)

2nd Star: Chris Bourque (HER)

1st Star: Francois Bouchard (HER)

Series Schedule

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: Hershey Bears 2 Manchester Monarchs 3 (OT) (1-0, 0-0, 1-2, 0-1)

Game 4: Hershey Bears 0 Manchester Monarchs 1 (0-0, 0-1, 0-0)

Game 5: Hershey Bears 3 Manchester Monarchs 2 (OT) (0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 1-0)

Game 6, 5/22: Manchester Monarchs VS. Hershey Bears 7:00 PM EDT

Game 7, 5/23: Manchester Monarchs VS. Hershey Bears 5:00 PM EDT

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