by David F. Pendrys (Official AHL Box Score)
WORCESTER, MA- The Hershey Bears swiped a furious paw through the plans of the Hartford Wolf Pack to gain a 2 to 1 lead in the AHL Eastern Conference Semifinals Sunday afternoon. In a fairly even match-up between the two teams, the Bears came up with the 1 extra goal needed to take the win despite stellar goal-tending from Hartford’s Yann Danis and Hershey’s Philipp Grubauer.
Neither team scored in the first period but each had their chances. The Wolf Pack was unable to take advantage of three power play opportunities on a day when they would not capitalize on any power plays whatsoever.
In the second, Nate Schmidt put Hershey on the board maneuvering around Danis in front of the net, assisted by Jakub Varney and Casey Wellman at 1:07. The scoring would cease for most of the period and each team would have to kill a penalty. Late in the 2nd, Justin Vaive went off for high-sticking. This would prove to be less of a burden than it would seem as Joey Crabb ended up with the puck and skated up side of the rink, letting loose a shot which got through Grubauer for the short handed goal. The Wolf Pack survived the rest of the Vaive penalty, but Mat Bodie was called for high-sticking as the period ended.
This would prove to not matter as the Wolf Pack got through the penalty. The clash continued until Hershey’s Liam O’Brien was penalized for high sticking at 9:03. This turned out to be disastrous for the Wolf Pack not long afterward as Cameron Schilling broke in on Danis and smacked it over the goaltender’s block attempt to the net for the shorthanded goal.
The Wolf Pack’s efforts to tie things up resulted in a disputed no-goal when Brady Skjei appeared to have knocked it past Grubauer but it was waved off. Grubauer ended the day with 31 saves on 32 shots. Danis had 20 saves on 22 shots. Game 4 will take place Monday in Worcester as well.