For the first time since the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Hershey Bears hosted a postseason game in the month of May. Saturday the Bears sought an unexpected three game series sweep over the AHL Regular Season Champion, Providence Bruins. Chris Bourque returned to Giant Center and claimed first star honors in a 5-1 rout over the Bears.
Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals is in the history books with another stunning Hershey Bears victory. With the hockey game tied at 4-4 after 60 minutes, Jon DiSalvatore played the role of hero for Hershey and heart breaker for Providence. DiSalvatore scored only 3:05 into extra time to give his club a surprising 2-0 series lead over the top seeded Providence Bruins.
In the best of five, first round series, the Chocolate and White are just one win away from advancing to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2010.
HERSHEY, PA – Jon DiSalvatore celebrates his first goal during Hershey’s 4-2 win over Manchester, and clinching them a playoff spot in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
It came all the way down to the wire, but it game 76 of the 2012-13 regular season, the Hershey Bears clinched a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. During first intermission of the Bears-Monarchs game Sunday evening, news broke at Giant Center that the Providence Bruins defeated the Norfolk Admirals by a 4-3 count. The regulation loss eliminated Norfolk from playoff contention leaving just Hershey and Connecticut fighting for the eighth seed.
With the Connecticut Whale wrapping up their season the night before, they could only watch and hope for a Bears regulation loss. However with the final window of opportunity wide open for Hershey, they put forth an impressive 4-2 over the Manchester Monarchs to punch their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Desperate for a win to close out the weekend, the Hershey Bears battled the Worcester Sharks for a Sunday matinee at the DCU Center. Following two crushing losses in Connecticut and Manchester, Garrett Mitchell received first star honors in a 4-1 victory over the Sharks.
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 05: Steven Oleksy #61 of the Washington Capitals (R) and Tomas Kundratek #36 hold up pucks for their first point and goal respectivly after an NHL game against the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center on March 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
One day after Steven Oleksy was recalled by the Washington Capitals and signed to a three year deal, he and former Hershey, now Washington teammate Tomas Kundratek both recorded first in the Caps’ game against former Bear Chris Bourque and the Boston Bruins.
HERSHEY, PA – Mike Green speaks with Dimity Orlov at the Outdoor Classic (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Over five years after playing his last game for the Hershey Bears, Mike Green returned to Chocolate Town to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Outdoor Classic. The Calgary native played 108 games in a Bears sweater, with 40 of them in the playoffs.
Goodbye Chris Bourque. Photo by Kyle Mace.
Just a couple quick notes for Chocolate Fix this week.
Chris Bourque was traded by the Caps to Boston in exchange for C Zach Hamill. [Bears]
Dany Sabourin signs a one year extension. [Bears]
With the Hershey Bears season coming to a close, most Bears fans will be putting all of their focus on the NHL playoffs. One of those teams left in the NHL playoffs are the Washington Capitals, the Bears affiliate. Monday night the Capitals will face off against the New York Rangers in game two of their series, but you could see some recalls before that. Those recalls are called “Black Aces,” named after holding the “Dead Man’s Hand” (two black aces) in a game of poker. So who could some of those “Black Aces” be?
After a rough start to the series, the Hershey Bears came back and won back to back game to send the series back to Wilkes-Barre. After a good first period, the Bears gave up two goals in seven seconds to the Baby Pens to drop the series in five game, losing by a score of 2-1.