Bears spring to life, cut series deficit to 2-1
CEDAR PARK, Tex ... Hershey fell into a 3-1 hole before reeling off five unanswered goals to take a crucial 6-3 road win over Texas on Monday, cutting its series deficit in the Calder Cup Finals to 2-1.
Andrew Gordon notched a pair of third-period goals for the Bears, while Kyle Wilson and Mathieu Perreault also nabbed two goals apiece in the winning effort. Andrew Hutchinson, Francis Wathier, and Raymond Sawada had the Stars’ goals.
For the first time since the 1992 series between Adirondack and St. John’s, the road team has won each of the first three contests of the Calder Cup Finals. The Stars will host Games 4 and 5 on Wednesday and Friday nights, respectively.
Coming off a pair of road wins to begin the series, Texas started out fast in this one when Hutchinson notched a power play goal just 5:59 in. The 2004 Calder Cup champion sent a cross-ice pass intended for Jamie Benn, but instead it deflected off Hershey forward Boyd Kane’s stick and past goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
The Bears capitalized on a Texas turnover to tie it less than five minutes later, though, as Wilson tipped home a Francois Bouchard pass down low at 10:33.
Texas entered the first intermission on a burst of momentum and holding a 3-1 lead, receiving a shorthanded marker from Francis Wathier at 11:15 and an even-strength goal from Raymond Sawada – his first score since Apr. 17 – at the 17:57 mark.
But the Bears’ potent offense, which mustered only four goals in the first two games of this series combined, took control over the final 40 minutes of action. Wilson and Perreault began the flurry by scoring only 1:28 apart midway through the second frame, with Perreault’s power play tally snapping an 0-for-16 skid for Hershey on the man advantage.
Perreault then sandwiched a third-period marker in between a pair of goals from Gordon, with all three scores occurring in a span of 5:26.
Despite missing four games to injury in the conference finals vs. Manchester, Gordon now paces the Bears with 13 goals (13-5-18) in 14 playoff outings this spring, a total which ranks him second in the AHL behind Benn (14-12-26).
After surrendering three goals on 11 shots in the first period, Neuvirth (11-4) settled down and stopped all 19 shots he faced over the final two frames. From the 11:23 mark of the second period on, Hershey held a 27-11 advantage in shots and a 5-0 edge on the scoreboard.
Texas, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, allowed six goals in a game for the first time since a 6-3 loss to Peoria on Feb. 5.
Attendance at Cedar Park Center was a season-high 7,014.
2010 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Thu., June 3 – Texas 2, HERSHEY 1
Game 2 – Sat., June 5 – Texas 4, HERSHEY 3
Game 3 – Mon., June 7 – Hershey 6, TEXAS 3
Game 4 – Wed., June 9 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., June 11 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Mon., June 14 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 16 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00