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.
On a night when the Chocolate and White punched their ticket to the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs, the players also accepted their awards for their accomplishments in a Bears uniform this season.
The Hershey Bears entered Binghamton on Saturday with an opportunity to clinch playoff berth with a win and out of town help. The out of town assistance was provided, but the Bears fell short in a 4-2 decision against the B-Sens. Out of town, both the Norfolk Admirals and Connecticut Whale lost in regulation to open the door for Hershey.
An hour south of Binghamton, the Manchester Monarchs won their battle against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to clinch the Eastern Conference’s seventh playoff position.
There is currently a three-way tie in points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tied with 79 points each are the Connecticut Whale, Norfolk Admirals and Hershey Bears. The Whale rapped up their regular season with a 5-1 loss to the Portland Pirates. Both the Bears and Admirals have one game remaining and will finish the season Sunday.
With only one spot remaining and the regular season concluding Sunday evening, here are the playoff scenarios:
- Hershey clinches playoff spot with regulation/overtime/shootout win despite a Norfolk win in regulation/overtime/shootout or loss.
- Norfolk clinches postseason berth with regulation/overtime/shootout win AND Hershey regulation/overtime/shootout loss. They can also clinch with a overtime/shootout loss AND Hershey regulation loss.
- Connecticut reaches the postseason with Hershey regulation loss AND Norfolk regulation loss. The only way the Whale can reach the postseason is if the season ends with a three-way tie still intact.
HERSHEY, PA – Former Bear Graham Mink, seen here playing against Hershey earlier in the season, score a goal during Providence’s win over the Chocolate and White (Tim Stough – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
With the Hershey Bears locked in a tight battle for the playoffs, the Chocolate and White headed up the coast for a trio up big games. It started with a Friday night bout with the Providence Bruins, Hershey’s likely first round opponent — at least as things stand now.
It got off to an awful start for the Bears at “The Dunk.” The Bruins outshot the Bears 7-0 in the opening minutes, looking as if goaltender Philipp Grubauer was the only one who bothered to get on the bus to New England. The Bears, however, started to show some life in the latter half of the frame — helped in part to a pair of Bruins penalties — but no one was able to hit the back of the net. Continue reading
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.
Following a dreadful 0-for-6 weekend in the points column, the Hershey Bears sought a desperate bounce back win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After 60 minutes of end-to-end, scoreless hockey, Garrett Mitchell played the role of hero for Hershey with an overtime game-winning goal to seal two points.
Coming off a perfect 3-in-3 weekend, the Bears were looking to add on to their streak tonight against Norfolk. Without Garrett Mitchell, the Bears struggled mightily against the Ads, dropping this one 5-1.
If the 2012-13 AHL hockey season concluded today, four of the five East Division teams would have qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs. The one divisional team currently on the outside looking into the playoff picture is the Norfolk Admirals. The Admirals entered Saturday winners in seven of their last ten games, and looked to continue their hot streak against the Hershey Bears.
Philipp Grubauer played his first game with the Chocolate and White since returning from his first NHL stint in Washington D.C. From the opposite end of the ice, he watched Ryan Stoa tie the hockey game on a highlight reel goal with 2:33 left in regulation. Ryan Potulny then scored in the final minute to cap an astonishing 3-2 regulation win over the Norfolk Admirals.
HERSHEY, PA – Philipp Grubauer, seen here at the Outdoor Classic, made 35 saves in Hershey’s 4-1 win over Rochester (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
A day after watching their point streak get snapped in the hands of the Toronto Marlies, the Hershey Bears returned to the United States to face the historic Rochester Americans. Looking to jump back into the win column, four different Bears score combined with a solid performance by Philipp Grubauer to cap a 4-1 victory in New York.
After an astonishing three goal performance by the Hershey Bears’ power play unit against the Connecticut Whale, they looked to continue their recent special teams success on the road in Worcester, Massachusetts. Boyd Kane opened up the scoring early and helped the Bears to a 3-2 shootout win over the Worcester Sharks.