Bears take commanding lead on top-seeded Bruins

Game 2 (OT)

( — Joey Crabb tied the game with 1:29 left in regulation and former Providence College star Jon DiSalvatore buried a power-play goal 3:05 into overtime, and backed by a 54-save performance from Philipp Grubauer the Hershey Bears claimed Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 5-4 decision over the Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The eighth-seeded Bears have a 2-0 series lead over the regular-season champion Bruins, with Game 3 and (if necessary) 4 at Giant Center in Hershey.

Hershey opened the scoring at 3:14 of the first on a breakaway goal from the blue line by Ryan Stoa. Taking a pass from Peter LeBlanc, Stoa deked to the backhand and beat Niklas Svedberg from in close.

Providence would even the score at 9:05. Graham Mink jumped on the rebound of a shot from Carter Camper and chipped the puck into the upper corner past Grubauer for his first of the postseason.

Rookie Nate Schmidt held a clearing bid onside at the right point and sent a shot toward the net, and Nicolas Deschamps deflected the puck through Svedberg’s pads at 14:56 for a power-play goal and a 2-1 Bears lead through 20 minutes, despite being outshot 25-8.

The Bruins again tied the game with an early second-period goal from Camper. Craig Cunningham’s shot bounced around in traffic, banked off of Camper’s leg and past Grubauer at 1:09.

The third one-goal lead for the Bears came at 10:33. Michael Latta picked off a pass from Chris Bourque in the Providence zone, then fed the high slot. Garrett Mitchell grabbed the pass, skated toward the left hash marks and sent a wrister over the blocker of Svedberg.

Bourque made up for the giveaway just 21 seconds later, firing a long-range slap shot from inside the blue line under Grubauer’s glove and knotting the score 3-3.

The Bruins grabbed their first lead of the series at the 13:18 mark of the third, on the hosts’ third advantage of the game. Mink would strike again when he set up at the top of Grubauer’s crease to deflect a hard pass from Camper into the net.

The Bears would get Grubauer to the bench for the extra attacker with just under two minutes left in regulation. The move would pay off, as the Bears sent three bodies to the Bruins net. Jeff Taffe dug the puck loose from the pile, and it caromed right to Crabb for a slam-dunk tying goal at 18:31.

A Garnet Exelby high-sticking penalty early in the overtime period gave Hershey a man advantage, and DiSalvatore ripped a shot past a diving Svedberg to cap off the victory.

Grubauer improves to 2-0 with the win, while Svedberg made 24 saves on 29 shots in the setback. The Bears finished with a 2-for-4 mark on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Game 3 is Saturday night in Hershey.