Bears roar into Finals with Game 7 OT win

Photo: Tori Hartman

Garrett Roe scored 7:38 into overtime to send the Hershey Bears back to the Calder Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference championship series at a sold-out Giant Center on Wednesday night.

The Bears will meet the Coachella Valley Firebirds in a rematch of last year’s Finals series, beginning Friday night in Hershey.

Roe’s game-winner capped a series that saw Cleveland come from behind from 3-0 down to force a Game 7. All four games played at Giant Center went to overtime, with the Monsters staging third-period comebacks in all four.

James Malatesta scored the equalizer with 5:52 left in regulation as Cleveland pressured Hershey throughout the period.

Trey Fix-Wolansky had given the Monsters a 1-0 lead with 57.2 seconds left in the opening frame, but Logan Day answered 39 seconds later to make it 1-1 at the first intermission.

Pierrick Dubé, back in the lineup after missing the previous three games due to injury, sniped a power-play goal early in the second period to give the Bears the lead.

Hunter Shepard shined in net for the Bears, stopping 42 shots on the night to improve his career playoff overtime record to 7-1. Hershey was outshot 44-30 for the game, including 23-8 over the third period and OT.

Jet Greaves made 27 saves for the Monsters, who were looking to become the fourth team in AHL history to win a series after losing the first three games.

(Hershey wins series, 4-3)
Game 1 – Thu., May 30 – HERSHEY 5, Cleveland 4 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., June 1 – HERSHEY 3, Cleveland 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Tue., June 4 – Hershey 6, CLEVELAND 2
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – CLEVELAND 3, Hershey 2
Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – CLEVELAND 5, Hershey 1
Game 6 – Mon., June 10 – Cleveland 3, HERSHEY 2 (OT)
Game 7 – Wed., June 12 – HERSHEY 3, Cleveland 2 (OT)