PALM DESERT, Calif. (theahl.com) … The 2022-23 American Hockey League season is down to one game.
The AHL championship will be decided with the 12th Game 7 in Finals history, Wednesday evening in Palm Desert.
The Bears registered seven shots on goal in the first two minutes of the game and grabbed a 1-0 lead on Connor McMichael’s goal at the 1:33 mark. It was the first time in the series that the road team had scored first.
But the Firebirds responded with three goals in a span of 6:42, beginning with Max McCormick tallying his league-leading 13th goal of the postseason.
John Hayden notched his first goal of the playoffs to put Coachella Valley in front; it marked the first lead change of the series.
Cameron Hughes then scored his fourth goal of the series to give the Firebirds a 3-1 cushion at the first intermission.
Beck Malenstyn brought Hershey back within a goal early in the second period before Lind scored twice, giving him a league-best 30 points for the postseason.
NOTES: This is the eighth series in Calder Cup Playoffs history in which the home team has won each of the first six games; home teams are 4-3 in the previous Game 7’s… All five Firebirds wins when facing elimination have come on home ice, by a cumulative score of 25-11… The Bears are 0-3 on the road in the Finals after going 6-0 away from home in their first three series… The Firebirds will be the first team in AHL history to play four winner-take-all games in a single postseason… Coachella Valley has won seven straight home games, scoring a total of 35 goals, and has outscored Hershey 14-2 in three games at Acrisure Arena.
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) | Recap/Highlights
Game 6 – Mon., June 19 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Hershey 2
Game 7 – Wed., June 21 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern