Once again, 60-minutes was not enough to decide a game in Hershey’s opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, but it was Lehigh Valley who flipped the script and emerged with a 2-1 victory thanks to former Bear, Chris Conner, who scored a break-away goal 1:49 into extra time.
In a first period, eerily reminiscent of Friday’s overtime game, the Hershey Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms battled to a 0-0 tie through the first period and a majority of the second until Stan Galiev led a 3-on-1 break into the Phantoms’ zone and scored an unassisted goal to give Hershey the lead.
Lehigh Valley certainly had their chances early, but Pheonix Copley continued to impress, coming up with big save after big save. He stopped 28 of 30 shots in the game, including a 12-save second period that saw him sprawled out on his back to make a save.
Unlike Saturday’s game in Lehigh Valley, the two teams played a relatively penalty-free contest. Andy Miele was assessed a minor in the first for hooking, but the Bears were unable to score on the power play that spanned the end of the first and beginning of the second. It would be the lone penalty of the game.
Meanwhile, unlike Saturday’s game, Martin Ouellette stopped 28 of 29 shots the Bears threw at him. In Saturday’s game, he allowed two goals on four shots in relief of Alex Lyon.
Lehigh Valley quickly tied the game in the third period when Colin McDavid fired a “shot” from the center ice line that bounced oddly over some rough ice and past a stunned Copley and into the net.
Hershey then thought they got the go-ahead goal when Ouellette allowed a rebound that was sent past him and into the net, but Olivier Gouin blew his whistle, believing the puck to be covered. That mistake on the part of the officiating crew would be very costly to Hershey as the Bears could have closed out the series.
Hershey had two terrific chances right before the horn sounded, ending the third period, but Ouellette turned them away and the game went to overtime, which ended with Conner’s goal.
Game 4 will be Saturday night at Giant Center. It is a 7:00 start.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) April 27, 2017