12 days off for the Hershey Bears didn't affect them that much as a goal just 16 seconds spring- boarded the Bears to a game 1 victory where they scored 3 unanswered goals to go up 3-0 before winning 4-2 against the Manchester Monarchs.
Defensemen Sean Collins scored just 16 seconds to get his first goal of the playoffs. Others who joined in on the scoring include Andrew Gordon with his 10th of the playoffs, which ties him for the team lead.
Michal Neuvirth gave up just 1 goal for most of the game as he stopped 24 of 26 shots in the game. Other then a Loktionov goal that made things interesting for a little bit. The Bears were pretty solid all around on defense to prevent the Monarchs had a hard time making this a game at all. Which included getting out-shot 24-15 in the first 2 periods.
This makes Hershey a perfect 9-0 in this year's playoffs and the Bears are looking strong towards defending the AHL Calder Cup Championship this year.
From the American Hockey League Website: www.theahl.com
Hershey jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period and doubled up Manchester 4-2 on Wednesday before a crowd of 7,718 fans at Giant Center in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Michal Neuvirth, the reigning Calder Cup Playoff MVP, earned the victory by stopping 24 of 26 shots in the game, improving to a perfect 7-0 this postseason.
Coming off a 12 day layoff, the Bears wasted no time in regaining their scoring touch, but it came from an unlikely source. Defensemen Sean Collins tallied his first goal of the playoffs just 16 seconds after the opening face-off, with assists going to Chris Bourque and Mathieu Perreault.
Andrew Gordon's power play made it 2-0 at 10:02 of the open period, and Steve Pinizzotto built a 3-0 lead for Hershey on an unassisted marker 7:25 into the middle stanza.
Manchester forward Andrew Gauthier closed the game scoring with 3:50 to go in regulation. Monarchs goalie Jonathan Bernier also made 24 saves in net, but he suffered just his 3rd loss of the postseason.
After two days off, the teams will collide for Game 2 in Hershey on Saturday Night.
Hershey Bears lead the Series 1-0
Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 4 (0-2, 0-1, 2-1)
0-1 HER: Sean Collins (Bourque, Perreault) 0:16 1st
0-2 HER: Andrew Gordon (PP) (Aucoin, Giroux) 10:02 1st
0-3 HER: Steve Pinizzotto (Unassisted) 7:25 2nd
1-3 MAN: Andrei Loktionov (Muzzin, Clifford) 12:32 3rd
1-4 HER: Karl Anzer (Kane) 14:18 3rd
2-4 MAN: Gabe Gauthier (Moller, Lewis) 16:10 3rd
SOG: MAN 26 HER 28
PP: MAN 0/3 HER 1/5
PIM: MAN 15 Minutes on 6 Penalties HER 11 Minutes on 4 Penalties
Goalies: MAN Jonathan Bernier 24 SVS on 28 Shots HER Michal Neuvirth 24 SVS on 26 Shots
3rd Star: Chris Bourque (HER)
2nd Star: Michal Neuvirth (HER)
1st Star: Steve Pinizzotto (HER)
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