The Hershey Bears rode power-play goals from Stanislav Galiev, Andre Burakovsky, and Casey Wellman, as well as a late game-winner from Jim O’Brien to a 4-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday afternoon, effectively clinching a berth to the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The bid is the Bears’ 64th playoff appearance since joining the American Hockey League in 1938, and brings them back to postseason action after missing it in 2013-14 for the first time since the 2005-06 season, snapping an eight-year streak.
Hershey currently sits second in the Eastern Conference (42-19-5-2, 91 points), and holds an eight-point East Division lead over in-state rivals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Head coach Troy Mann is back behind the Bears’ bench after spending four years as an assistant coach for the club (2009-13), helping guide the Bears to a Calder Cup and four straight playoff appearances.
Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs. For more information and daily updates on the playoff races, check out the official AHL Playoff Primer.