Firebirds roll past Bears in Game 1

Photo: Daniel Stopani

PALM DESERT, Calif. ( Daccord made 25 saves for his second shutout of the postseason and Coachella Valley got goals from five different players in a 5-0 victory over Hershey to open the 2023 Calder Cup Finals here on Thursday night.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday evening (10 ET, AHLTV).

The Firebirds, who have won Game 1 in each of their five series this postseason, opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Tye Kartye at the 9:02 mark of the first period, and Ville Petman doubled the lead at 6:54 of the second.

Andrew Poturalski scored early in the third before Jesper Froden and Alexander True scored 38 seconds apart to put the game away.

Kole Lind and Ryker Evans had three assists each for Coachella Valley, which handed Hershey its first road loss of the playoffs (6-1).

Daccord became the first goaltender to record a Game 1 shutout in the Calder Cup Finals since Hamilton’s Carey Price blanked the Bears to open the 2007 championship series.

Hunter Shepard stopped 22 shots for the Bears.

NOTES: Attendance was 10,087, a sellout at Acrisure Arena… In Calder Cup Finals history, the Game 1 winner has won the series 63 of 84 times (75.0 percent)… This was the 128th Calder Cup Finals game in Bears franchise history, and the 92nd game overall in Firebirds franchise history… The Firebirds’ five-goal margin of victory was the largest in a Calder Cup Finals opening game since 1967, when the Pittsburgh Hornets defeated the Rochester Americans, 7-1.

P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. A2-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Thu., June 8 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Hershey 0
Game 2 – Sat., June 10 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 10:00
Game 3 – Tue., June 13 – Coachella Valley at Hershey, 7:00
Game 4 – Thu., June 15 – Coachella Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 17 – Coachella Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*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