Conner lifts Phantoms to first playoff win

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Chris Conner scored on a breakaway 1:49 into overtime as Lehigh Valley picked up the franchise’s first postseason win in nearly nine years, a 2-1 victory at Hershey in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division semifinals on Wednesday night.

The Bears still hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, and will host Game 4 on Saturday.

Andy Miele blocked a shot in the Phantoms zone and the former Bear Conner scooped up the rebound and raced the other way, speeding past two Bears defenders and snapping a shot past Pheonix Copley‘s blocker for the winning goal.

The win was the Phantoms’ first in the Calder Cup Playoffs since May 1, 2008 — a 5-2 win by the Philadelphia Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — snapping a 10-game postseason losing streak.

Stanislav Galiev scored for Hershey at 11:35 of the second period, breaking a scoreless deadlock with his second goal of the series.

But Lehigh Valley got a break and tied the score when Colin McDonald‘s shot from center ice eluded Copley (28 saves).

With Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon both injured, Martin Ouellette got the Game 3 start for Lehigh Valley and made 29 saves to pick up the win.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. A3-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Hershey 1, LEHIGH VALLEY 0 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Hershey 5, LEHIGH VALLEY 4
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Lehigh Valley 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 29 – Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 5:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern