Checkers finish off Bears in four straight

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The Charlotte Checkers made quick work of the Hershey Bears, completing a sweep of the Atlantic Division Finals with a 5-2 win at Giant Center on Wednesday night.

Charlotte will take on Toronto for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the Calder Cup Finals.

Aleksi Saarela recorded the first playoff hat trick in franchise history, Julien Gauthier notched a goal and an assist and the Checkers stifled the Bears for a fourth straight win. Charlotte held Hershey to a total of seven goals and an average of 22.3 shots on goal per game in the series.

Tomas Jurco scored a goal for his sixth point of the series, and Martin Necas, Morgan Geekie and Bobby Sanguinetti notched two assists each for Charlotte in Game 4.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 16 saves, improving his playoff record to 6-1.

Jayson Megna and Shane Gersich scored for the Bears.

The Checkers will head into the Eastern Conference Finals riding a six-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents by a 26-8 margin.

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A3-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., May 3 – CHARLOTTE 4, Hershey 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., May 4 – CHARLOTTE 7, Hershey 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Tue., May 7 – Charlotte 3, HERSHEY 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Wed., May 8 – Charlotte 5, HERSHEY 2