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Hershey Bears Playoffs

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The Hershey Bears made the American Hockey League playoffs

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Sports
05/08/13

Bears Eliminated in Game Five 3-2

Game Five on the road facing elimination against the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Providence Bruins.   No doubt a tall order for the Hershey Bears on Wednesday Night.  As it turns out, a little too tall.   The Bears score first with a goal from Casey Wellman but Providence scores the final and most important goal to win the game 3-2 and the series by an identical mark.

The following is the official press release from the Bears following the defeat:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jamie Tardif scored the go-ahead goal with 10:40 left in regulation, and the Providence Bruins withstood a late HERSHEY BEARS power play to win Game Five of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by a 3-2 count on Wednesday night at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.  The Bruins also won the series three games to two in comeback fashion after dropping the first two games on home ice.

For the fourth time in the series, it was the Bears who struck first – with a goal scored following relentless pressure in the offensive zone.  The Bruins, on their heels for the opening minute, tried to defend as Dane Byers carried the puck through neutral ice.  He fed the left wing, where Casey Wellman would pick up the puck, head toward the crease and send a snap shot over the glove of Niklas Svedberg just 1:19 into the game.

But the Bruins managed to tie the game on a fluky goal.  A shot taken by Justin Florek from the left half-boards deflected off of two Bears defensemen and behind Philipp Grubauer at 5:04.  Video replay would be consulted but the goal stood.

The teams played to the intermission tied 1-1.  The Bears also killed off two Providence power plays late in the frame.

The Bruins then took a 2-1 lead at the 15:08 mark of the second period.  After controlling the play for most of the middle frame, the Bruins forced a turnover deep in the right wing corner.  Carter Camper dug the puck loose and fed Jordan Caron, who cut to the slot and sent a wrist shot past a screened Grubauer.

The Bears’ leading playoff goal scorer then took over to tie the game early in the third.  Shortly after serving a holding penalty just 50 seconds into the period, Joey Crabb collected a pass from Peter LeBlanc, emerged in the bottom of the right circle and snuck a backhander short-side on Svedberg at the 3:56 mark.

Providence then scored at 9:20 to take a 3-2 lead.  Defenseman Kevan Miller took a shot from the right point that Grubauer saved.  The Bruins crashed the crease and Tardif was able to tuck the puck under Grubauer’s pads and into the net before the play could be stopped.

The Bruins held their lead but were forced to kill off a tripping penalty to Kyle MacKinnon with 31 seconds left to play.  The Bears, skating six players against four with Grubauer on the bench, were unable to come up with a shot in the waning seconds despite pressure at the front of the net.

Grubauer made 34 saves and earned the game’s third star honor in the setback, falling to 2-3 in his first AHL postseason.  Svedberg made 24 saves on 26 shots to improve to 3-2.  Each team finished 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Bears, are still stinging from that late, heartbreaking game 4 loss at home to Providence. But the team says, they will rebound in the series finale.

Peter LeBlanc, Bears Center

“Yeah, it was a real tough loss to swallow, especially we had the lead late in the game but things happen. Providence bounced back and we expect to bounce back from it, go to their barn and take another one.”

Tom Wilson, Bears Right Winger

“Yeah, I think the guys have settle down a bit. We are getting ready and we know what we have to do to get ready for the game. We have watched tons of film on Providence and I think we are ready to go in and steal the last one.”

Hershey did win the 1st two games in Rhode Island. They are confident about getting lucky number three.

Patrick Wellar, Bears

“The attitude right now is to go in there, we know we have the two wins in Providence already so we know it can be done. We know we have to go in there and bring our best hockey.”

The winner take all game 5 in Providence, Wednesday night. They drop the puck at 7.

The Bears are one victory away, from a sweep in their playoff series against the number one seed Providence.  The offense has been outstanding for Hershey, scoring 10 goals in their first two wins.

Garrett Mitchell, Bears Forward

“Most of our goals come from in tight on the net.  Guys are bearing down on their chances and putting it into the back of the net.  I don’t think there is any rhyme or reason to the high scoring series but at the same time we are doing our job.”

The chocolate and white have all the momentum in this match-up.  They’re hoping not lose it with a 6 day layoff between games.

Boyd Kane, Bears Captain

“Feels like we have the momentum right now but its a long week sitting here waiting but when you get rest in the playoffs its never a bad thing because some times when you get going you don’t get that chance.”

John DiSalvatore, Bears Forward

“We smell blood and I think its important for us to seize the opportunity.  You haven’t won anything yet and this isn’t something you can take for granted.”

The Bears go for the sweep Saturday night for the sweep Saturday night.  They drop the puck at 7 at Giant Center.

Joey Crabb tied the game with 1:29 left in regulation and Jon DiSalvatore buried a power-play goal 3:05 into overtime, and backed by a 54-save performance from Philipp Grubauer, the HERSHEY BEARS claimed Game Two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 5-4 decision over the Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The Bears took the lead three times in the game, and late in regulation had to fight back to get the equalizer.  It turned out to be two penalties for high-sticking that came back to haunt the Bruins.

Hershey opened the scoring at 3:14 of the first on a breakaway goal from the blue line by Ryan Stoa.  Taking a pass from Peter LeBlanc, Stoa deked to the backhand and beat Niklas Svedberg from in close.

Providence would then even the score at 9:05.  Graham Mink jumped on the rebound of a shot from Carter Camper and chipped the puck into the upper corner past Grubauer for his first of the postseason.

The Bears earned their first power play chance of the game on a high-sticking call to Bruins forward Justin Florek.  Providence was eight seconds away from the kill when rookie Nate Schmidt held a clearing bid onside at the right point and sent a shot toward the net.  Nicolas Deschamps deflected the puck through Svedberg’s pads at 14:56 for a 2-1 lead.  Despite being outshot 25-8 after the first, the Bears held the one-goal lead.

The Bruins again tied the game with an early second-period goal from Camper.  Craig Cunningham’s shot bounced around in traffic, banked off of Camper’s leg and past Grubauer at 1:09.

The third one-goal lead for the Bears came at 10:33.  Michael Latta picked off a pass from Chris Bourque in the Providence zone, then fed the high slot.  Garrett Mitchell grabbed the pass, skated toward the left hash marks and sent a wrister over the blocker of Svedberg.

Bourque made up for the giveaway just 21 seconds later, firing a long-range slap shot from inside the blue line under Grubauer’s glove and knotting the score 3-3.

The Bruins grabbed their first lead of the series at the 13:18 mark of the third, on the hosts’ third advantage of the game.  Mink would strike again when he set up at the top of Grubauer’s crease to deflect a hard pass from Camper into the net.

The Bears would get Grubauer to the bench for the extra attacker with just under two minutes left in regulation.  The move would pay off, as the Bears sent three bodies to the Bruins net.  Deschamps and Jeff Taffe dug the puck loose from the pile, and it caromed right to Crabb for a slam-dunk tying goal at 18:31.

Garnet Exelby took the Bruins’ second high-sticking penalty, and once again the hosts were closing in on a kill.  Schmidt sent a pass from the left point to the right circle for LeBlanc, who in turn slid a pass to his left.  DiSalvatore then ripped it past a diving Svedberg to cap off the victory.

Grubauer improves to 2-0 with the win, while Svedberg made 24 saves on 29 shots in the setback.  The Bears finished with a 2-for-4 mark on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.

With the win, the Bears have a lead of two games to none in the best-of-five format.

The Eastern Conference quarterfinal series shifts back to Chocolatetown for Game Three on Saturday, May 4, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Tickets for Game Three of this series, as well as the to-be-announced second home playoff game, are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.

Article Courtesy of the Hershey Bears.

They barely squeaked into the playoffs by winning their final regular season game.   The Hershey Bears make the most of their playoff opportunity by defeating the Providence Bruins 5-2 in Game One of their best of five series.    Hershey capitalized on a handful of power play chances to take an early lead and never trailed in the series opener.

The following is the official game story from the Hershey Bears:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The HERSHEY BEARS scored three times on the power play and Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves for his first career AHL postseason victory, a 5-2 decision over the Providence Bruins on Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.  The Bears take a one game to none lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the win.

The visitors came out flying and created two good scoring chances before the game was two minutes old.  Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg picked up where he left off in the regular season, making a pad stop on a Jeff Taffe redirection attempt for his best stop of the period.  The Bruins would then take the first penalty of the game, and the Bears made them pay.  Off of a turnover at the Bruins net front, Taffe faked Svedberg down and passed to his left, where Joey Crabb had a slam dunk for a 1-0 lead.

The Bears then opened the game up with three strikes in the middle period, the first two coming on the man advantage.  Casey Wellman made it a 2-0 game when he banked a shot off of a Providence defenseman and through the legs of Svedberg at 4:43, while the Bears worked a two-man power play.

Hershey cashed in on the second portion of the advantage as well.  Nicolas Deschamps would work the puck to the point, and Tomas Kundratek let fly with a wrist shot.  Jon DiSalvatore, from inside the right circle, deflected the puck down and past Svedberg at 5:22.

Just four minutes later, Peter LeBlanc would win a faceoff in the left circle.  Ryan Stoa immediately pushed it to the center point, and Dmitry Orlov let fly with a slapper that eluded Svedberg over the glove for a 4-0 lead.

Michael Hutchinson came on in relief of Svedberg at that 9:23 mark, and stopped all six shots he faced.  That allowed the Bruins to gain a bit of momentum, as Jamie Tardif drove the slot and chipped a pass from Jordan Caron over Grubauer at 13:56.  After a long video replay review, the goal would stand.  The Bears took the 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

Providence clawed back even further, as Christian Hanson made it a 4-2 game early in the third period when a puck bounced off the back wall right to the center’s stick.  With Grubauer down at the top of his crease, Hanson tucked the puck home from the side at 3:54.

Providence had two power play chances in the third period to try and cut the deficit even further, but the Bears penalty kill finished perfectly.  Michael Latta capped off the night by hitting the empty net for a shorthanded strike with 6.2 seconds left on the clock.

Grubauer improves to 1-0 in the postseason, while Svedberg was tagged with the loss, making 19 saves on 23 shots in 29:23 of play.  Hutchinson stopped all 11 shots he faced and earned no decision in 29:10 of work.

The Bears were 3-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

The Eastern Conference quarterfinal series remains in Rhode Island for Game Two this coming Sunday, April 28.  Face off is set for 3:05 PM.  The series will shift to Chocolatetown for Game Three on Saturday, May 4, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Tickets for Game Three of this series are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.

Sports
04/21/13

Hershey Bears playoff schedule

The Hershey Bears made the American Hockey League playoffs with a 4-2 win over Manchester, Sunday at Giant Center.  It was the regular season finale for the chocolate and white.

They now enter the AHL playoffs as the number 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Bears will play Providence in the 1st round.  Here is the 1st round schedule.

1-Providence Bruins vs. 8-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Hershey at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Hershey at Providence, 3:05
Game 3 – Sat., May 4 – Providence at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Sun., May 5 – Providence at Hershey, 5:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 8 – Hershey at Providence, 7:05

It all comes down to the Hershey Bears final regular season game on Sunday at Giant Center.   Beat Manchester on home ice and they make the playoffs.   They could have made life a lot easier for themselves with a victory in Binghamton on Saturday Night.  Instead, they come home to Chocolatetown after a 4-2 loss to the Senators.    The following is the official game capsule from the Hershey Bears:

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Shane Prince and Stephane Da Costa scored power-play goals and Marc Cheverie made 24 saves to help the Binghamton Senators win their home finale of the regular season, a 4-2 decision over the HERSHEY BEARS on Saturday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

Two would-be goals for the Bears were wiped out in the first period.  The first of the two was negated when Michael Latta directed a rebound into the net with his skate.  From there, the Sens were able to strike first, working their first power play of the night.  Shane Prince backhanded the rebound of a shot from Da Costa behind Bears netminder Philipp Grubauer at 9:11, giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead.

Casey Wellman later deposited the rebound of a shot from Nicolas Deschamps, but the referee blew the whistle upon losing sight of the puck as it sat at Cheverie’s side.

Ironically Wellman would be the one to draw the Bears even.  On Hershey’s first power play of the game, Peter LeBlanc set up a scoring chance by firing a hard pass from the right boards into the slot.  Jon DiSalvatore got a stick on the pass and deflected it past Cheverie, but the puck hit the goal post.  Wellman pounced on the rebound and fired it home at 16:40.

The Senators took a 2-1 lead late in the first, when Brett Lebda took a pass from Pat Cannone and beat Grubauer with a screen shot from the right circle.

More penalty trouble haunted the Bears in the middle frame.  Binghamton was handed 1:58 of two-man advantage time, and struck when Da Costa’s one-timer off of a Cody Ceci feed slid past Grubauer at 6:40.

The Bears played in a two-goal deficit until the final two minutes of regulation.  With Grubauer off in favor of a sixth attacker, Jeff Taffe led a charge through neutral ice.  His pass found Garrett Mitchell in the slot, who then snapped a shot past the blocker of Cheverie and brought the Bears to within 3-2 with 1:26 left to play.  The assist was Taffe’s 53rd of the season, and enabled him to become the third Bears player this season to reach 500 points in his AHL career, joining Jon DiSalvatore and Boyd Kane.

Grubauer would get to the bench again, but just inside the final minute, Mark Stone picked off a pass in the neutral zone and hit the empty net to round out the scoring.

Grubauer made 20 saves on 23 shots but fell to 14-9-2 on the season.  Cheverie improved to 5-6-1 with the win.  The Bears finished 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Coupled with regulation losses by the Connecticut Whale and Norfolk Admirals, the three teams are now tied for the eighth and final playoff spot.  Connecticut wrapped up the regular season tonight, and Norfolk visits the Providence Bruins at 3:00 PM tomorrow.

The Bears wrap up the 2012-2013 regular season tomorrow, April 21 with a 5:00 PM faceoff against the Manchester Monarchs.  The Bears will qualify for the postseason with a win of any kind, or by finishing with one more point than Norfolk.

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