Bears win thriller on Pilon OT goal

Photo: Tori Hartman/Hershey Bears

HERSHEY, Pa. (theahl.com)Garrett Pilon broke a scoreless tie 10:01 into overtime to give the Hershey Bears their third consecutive one-goal victory and a 3-2 series lead over Coachella Valley in the 2023 Calder Cup Finals.

The best-of-seven series resumes Monday in Palm Desert with the Bears one win away from their 12th Calder Cup championship. The home team has won each of the first five games of the Finals.

Pilon snapped a shot from the center point that beat Firebirds goaltender Joey Daccord glove side, ending only the fifth 1-0 overtime game in Finals history. Mason Morelli and Logan Day earned the assists.

Hunter Shepard (13-5) made 21 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs.

Daccord (14-10) finished with 30 saves, including six in overtime before the winning goal was scored.

NOTES: This is the fourth Calder Cup Finals series ever to begin with five consecutive wins by the home team (1941, 1953, 1968)… Tonight marked the Firebirds’ third 1-0 loss of this postseason… Coachella Valley finishes its playoff road slate having lost six of its last seven away from home; they had the fourth-best road record in the AHL during the regular season… The Bears are now 5-1 in one-goal games this postseason; the Firebirds are 5-8… There has still not yet been an in-game lead change in the series… In Calder Cup Playoffs history, the Game 5 winner of a tied best-of-seven series has gone on to win the series 82.4 percent of the time (117 of 142), including 95.2 percent of Finals (20 of 21)… Attendance at Giant Center was 10,869, the fifth consecutive sellout in the series.

P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. A2-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Thu., June 8 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Hershey 0 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 10 – COACHELLA VALLEY 4, Hershey 0 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Tue., June 13 – HERSHEY 5, Coachella Valley 4 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Thu., June 15 – HERSHEY 3, Coachella Valley 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Sat., June 17 – HERSHEY 1, Coachella Valley 0 (OT)
Game 6 – Mon., June 19 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 21 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern