A sold-out Giant Center was ready for a celebration on Wednesday night, but the Rochester Americans had other plans.
Malcolm Subban made 32 saves, Lukas Rousek scored twice, and the Amerks improved to 4-0 this postseason when facing elimination with a 4-1 victory over the Hershey Bears in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Still down three games to two, the Amerks will host Game 6 of the best-of-seven series on Friday.
Subban turned in one of his best performances of the playoffs to help Rochester snap a three-game slide. He allowed only a power-play goal by Aliaksei Protas early in the third period, and has surrendered a total of four goals in the three games at Giant Center in the series.
Jiri Kulich, who had scored a goal in each of his first six playoff games, ended a four-game drought with a goal 4:43 into the contest.
Rousek gave the Amerks a 2-0 lead just 1:22 into the third period, and Michael Mersch scored Rochester’s first power-play goal of the series with 6:49 left in regulation to provide some breathing room.
Lawrence Pilut notched two assists for the Amerks, who are trying to win a series after trailing 3-1 for the fourth time in franchise history.
Hunter Shepard stopped 23 of 26 shots in net for the Bears.
(Hershey leads series, 3-2)
Game 1 – Tue., May 23 – Rochester 5, HERSHEY 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Thu., May 25 – HERSHEY 2, Rochester 0 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Sat., May 27 – Hershey 4, ROCHESTER 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Mon., May 29 – Hershey 4, ROCHESTER 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Wed., May 31 – Rochester 4, HERSHEY 1
Game 6 – Fri., June 2 – Hershey at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., June 5 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern