The Bears entered Game Three at Giant Center with a 2-0 edge over the number one seed Providence Bruins in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to lose both games, including a collapse at the end of Game Four, which led to a winner-take-all Game Five.
For the first time the entire first round series, the home town would pick up the victory. The Providence Bruins defeated Hershey by a 3-2 score, vastly outshooting the Bears 37-26. Three different Bruins scored and goalie Niklas Svedberg was good enough to secure his third win of the series in net.
Joey Crabb brought the Bears even with Providence 3:56 into the third period, but Jamie Tardif’s game winning goal with 10:40 remaining in regulation was enough for the Bruins.
The Chocolate and White grabbed an early 1-0 lead just 1:19 into Game five as Casey Wellman’s third goal of the series gave Hershey an early edge. Defenseman Chay Genoway and forward Dane Byers both registered their first points of the playoffs in their first postseason game this season.
Hershey wouldn’t hold that early lead for long however. Bruins forward Justin Florek tallied his first goal of the series for Providence 5:14 into the first stanza, assisted by Bobby Robins and former Hershey Bear Christian Hanson.
The Bears killed two penalties in the first period, went 0/1 with the man advantage and were outshot by the Bruins 15-9.
Providence dominating the second period, outshooting Hershey 12-6 and ultimately connected on a deserving goal. Boston Bruins prospect Jordan Caron tallied his first goal of the series, assisted by Carter Camper and Jamie Tardif.
With three straight losses in the five game series, Hershey became the 10th team in AHL history to blow a 2-0 lead in a five game series.
1. Attendance: 4,175
2. Bears Injuries: Forwards Jonathon Kalinski and Mike Carman
3. Hershey Healthy Scratches: Forwards Jon DiSalvatore (veteran scratch), Ryan Stoa, Mattias Sjogren and Joel Rechlicz and defensemen Dmitry Orlov (illness) and Patrick McNeill
4. Defenseman Chay Genoway and forwards Matt Pope and Dane Byers made their postseason debuts for Hershey tonight.
5. Bears Forward Lines:
Boyd Kane-Jeff Taffe-Joey Crabb
Dane Byers-Ryan Potulny-Casey Wellman
Nicolas Deschamps-Michael Latta-Garrett Mitchell
Matt Pope-Peter LeBlanc-Tom Wilson
1. Jamie Tardif (one goal, one assist, plus two and two shots on goal)
2. Jordan Caron (one goal, plus one, three shots on goal and two penalty minutes)
3. Philipp Grubauer (34 saves on 37 shots)