HERSHEY, PA – Carter Camper (center) and former Hershey Bear Chris Bourque celebrate Camper’s game winning goal against Hershey in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Sunday evening the Hershey Bears battled in what could of been there final game at Giant Center this postseason. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, Bruins’ Carter Camper completed a hat-trick by scoring with 1:04 left in regulation to down Hershey, 5-4.
It was a depressing opening frame for the Bears who trailed the Bruins 2-0 after 20 minutes. Only 8:01 in, Carter Camper tallied his third of the postseason with another deflection goal on Philipp Grubauer. The night before, the first two P-Bruins goals came via redirection.
4:09 later, Graham Mink scored again against his former team on the power play. Hershey fans boo’d Chris Bourque every time he touched the puck and also when the public address announcer belted the names of Mink or Christian Hanson.
But in the middle period, referees Terry Koharski and Dave Lewis blessed the Bears with four power play chances. With 18:02 left on the clock, Joey Crabb crashed the net and cashed in on Niklas Svedberg. Ryan Potulny fed Crabb with a pass as he rushed uncontested towards the goal.
The Chocolate and White out shot Providence 12-4 in the middle period, but still trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of hockey.
What transpired in the third stanza turned out to be the most bazaar period the entire season. Both teams combined for six goals, including three in the final five minutes.
First 3:42 in, Crabb capitalized on his second goal of the night to tie the game at 2-2. Then with 11:50 left in regulation, Carter Camper matched Crabb with his second of the night after batting a puck out of mid air and into the net. The puck took a Providence bounce across the blue paint leaving Philipp Grubauer hung out to dry.
3:35 later, Casey Wellman again tied the game for Hershey. Right off an offensive zone face off, Peter LeBlanc pulled the puck back for Wellman to blast top-shelf into the cage.
Tom Wilson made his professional debut the night before and skated in his second AHL playoff game. All game long he showed off his tremendous speed, and with 4:40 to go in regulation, his speed gave the Bears their first lead of the night. Wilson beat Chris Bourque to a loose puck near the face off circle and scored his first professional goal.
Unfortunately minutes later, Hershey hearts would be broken with a furious Bruins comeback. The game tying goal with 2:34 left was fueled by a delay of game penalty by Nicolas Deschamps at the 16:07 mark. Craig Cunningham tied the game on a perfect one-timer off a cross ice pass from Torey Krug. Chris Bourque leaped into the air and tackled his goal scoring teammate as he did many times for Hershey during the 2009 and 2010 postseasons.
It set the stage for Carter Camper with 1:04 remaining to stun the Bears and force a Game 5 with a slap shot past Grubauer.
There will be a handshake on Wednesday night at the conclusion of the series between the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins. Game 5 will occur in Rhode Island at 7:05 pm.