Monsters take Finals opener, 4-1

HERSHEY, Pa. ( Forsberg made 26 saves for his sixth win in a row and Ohio native Trent Vogelhuber scored the winning goal in the third period as the Lake Erie Monsters opened the 2016 Calder Cup Finals with a 4-1 win over the Hershey Bears at Giant Center tonight.

The teams go back at it in Game 2 on Friday night (7 p.m. ET, AHL Live, SiriusXM 91).

Daniel Zaar scored a pair of goals and Steve Eminger chipped in with two assists for the Monsters, who improved to 12-2 this postseason and 21-4 in their last 25 games overall.

Hershey scored the first goal of the series 15:42 into the opening period as Chris Bourque feathered a pass to Jakub Vrana, who snapped a shot past Forsberg for his eighth goal of the playoffs.

For Bourque, his 77th career assist in the Calder Cup Playoffs moved him into sole possession of second place all-time, three behind Darren Haydar (80).

Zaar tied the game at 7:48 of the second, taking a lead pass from Alex Broadhurst and beating Justin Peters on what was already the Monsters’ fourth breakaway chance of the night.

Vogelhuber gave Lake Erie its first lead at 5:39 of the third period when his centering attempt glanced off of Bears defender Aaron Ness and redirected past Peters. It was Vogelhuber’s second goal of the playoffs, and his first since Game 1 of the opening round vs. Rockford.

Lake Erie opened up a 3-1 lead with 6:27 remaining as Zaar stripped the puck from Ryan Stanton and slipped it past Peters for his second goal of the evening and fifth of the playoffs. Markus Hannikainen finished the scoring at 15:09 with a deflection of Dean Kukan‘s shot.

Forsberg (6-0), who raised his postseason save percentage to .956, has now allowed just eight goals on 183 shots in his seven playoff appearances.

Peters (11-6) made 22 saves on the night but saw his five-game home winning streak come to an end.

NOTES: Hershey, which was 0-for-2 on the power play in Game 1, was not assessed a single penalty in the contest… Former Bear Ryan Craig had an assist for Lake Erie… In Calder Cup Finals history, the Game 1 winner has gone on to win the series 60 of 79 times (75.9 percent)… Attendance was 8,875.

2016 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
A1-Hershey Bears vs. C2-Lake Erie Monsters
Game 1 – Wed., June 1 – Lake Erie 4, HERSHEY 1
Game 2 – Fri., June 3 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., June 6 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
Game 4 – Sat., June 11 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., June 12 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 6:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 14 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Fri., June 17 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern