Nine games. That’s all that remains to decide the Hershey Bears playoff fate. Saturday night the Bears pulled off a come from behind victory over one of the best teams in the league, beating the Providence Bruins 3-2 at Giant Center. The victory keeps the Bears in the 8th and final playoff position, just two points ahead of Norfolk.
The Bears got off to a bad start giving up a goal with just 40 seconds left in the first period, when Alexander Fallstrom capped off some great passing to give his team a 1-0 lead. Jamie Tardif added a power play goal in the second to give the Bruins a 2-0 advantage.
The Bears rallied for three unanswered goals. The first by Boyd Kane, who knocked in a power play tally to cut the lead to 2-1. Midway through the third, Nicholas Deschamps made a great individual effort to tie the game 2-2. “We seemed to have given the crowd a lift (with the second goal) and we seem to respond well to that,” said Bears coach Mark French. “They are certainly one of the best teams in the league. I’m glad we didn’t fold and kept coming at them”
Then with seven and a half minutes left the Bears stole the puck and got it to Ryan Potulny who backed in for the game winner. “Weller made a great play and I was just trying to get it in. I was just trying to get it in the five hole and I did,” said Potulny. ” After last night’s loss, tonight was pretty much a must win. To go out and beat those guys and to play like we did in the third period was a good win for us.”
Bears goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 37 saves for his 11th win of the season. The Bears will play a home and home set with Syracuse on Friday and Saturday, then it’s back on the road Sunday in Wilkes-Barre. Seven of the Bears final nine games are on the road.