Carter Camper recorded a goal and an assist and Liam O’Brien broke a 1-1 tie with a goal early in the third period as the Hershey Bears opened the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Marlies at Giant Center on Friday night.
The Bears take their 1-0 series lead into Game 2 tomorrow (7 p.m. ET, TSN2, AHL Live).
Justin Peters (8-4) made 19 saves for Hershey, which limited the Marlies’ league-leading offense to just 20 shots on goal in the series opener.
Hershey pinned the Marlies in their own end for 75 seconds before Camper tied things up for the Bears at 3:39 of the second period, snapping a shot from between the circles that beat Antoine Bibeau. The goal extended Camper’s scoring streak to seven games.
Hershey nearly took the lead before the second intermission, but an official video review determined that Ryan Stanton’s shot did not completely cross the goal line before time expired in the middle period.
The Bears did grab the lead just 2:51 into the third, as O’Brien took a quick shot from the bottom of the right-wing circle that got past Bibeau for his second goal of the postseason.
Former Maple Leaf Zach Sill made it 3-1 for Hershey with a power-play goal at 8:12, collecting a rebound in front and knocking in his third goal of the playoffs.
Bibeau (5-3) finished with 20 saves for Toronto.
NOTES: Aaron Ness tallied two assists for Hershey… The game was the 600th Calder Cup Playoff contest in Bears franchise history (324-276, .540)… Hershey was 1-for-4 on the power play; Toronto was 0-for-1… The Bears had lost Game 1 in each of their first two series this postseason.
Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. A1-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., May 20 – HERSHEY 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 21 – Toronto at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Hershey at Toronto, 7:30
Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – Hershey at Toronto, 7:30
*Game 5 – Sun., May 29 – Hershey at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 31 – Toronto at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Thu., June 2 – Hershey at Toronto, 7:30
*if necessary… All times Eastern
— AHL (@TheAHL) May 21, 2016