It was a matter of we had them, but we lost them. It was a matter of a week-long layoff between game’s two and three. It was a matter of the eighth seed trying to pull off a stunning upset over the AHL Regular Season Champions. But in the end, it was the Providence Bruins winning games three, four and five, winning the best of five, first round series 3-2. Game five concluded in a 3-2 defeat Wednesday night.
We think back to a stunning overtime win in Game 2 to bring home a commanding series lead. And we smile back at Tom Wilson’s first professional goal with 4:40 left in regulation in Game 4 to give Hershey a 4-3 lead. By far those were the top two moments for the Chocolate and White this postseason that make the short-lived run worth while.
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.
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.
Friday night in the Eastern Conference finals of the OHL playoffs, the London Knights and Plymouth Whalers faced off in a game that London would win and eliminate the Whalers. On that Whalers team was Washington Capitals prospect, Tom Wilson.
After the loss, Wilson and teammate Connor Carrick were informed they were going to Chocolate town USA to join the Bears in their run at Calder Cup number 12.
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.
The battle of the Bears and the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs kicked off Friday with a tremendous 5-2 win over the Providence Bruins. Continuing from late regular season success, the power play unit tallied a trio of goals including two on both ends of a 5-on-3 advantage.
In the best of five series, Hershey quickly jumps to a 1-0 lead and has stolen home ice advantage from the AHL regular season champions.
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.
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.
It’s the home stretch of the 2012-13 regular season and the Hershey Bears entered Friday on the outside looking into the playoff picture. With the Norfolk Admirals, Connecticut Whale and Manchester Monarchs also in action, a pair of out of town losses combined with a Bears win could up rise Hershey back into playoff potential.
With a Connecticut 3-2 loss later followed by a Norfolk 6-1 road defeat, a bright light of opportunity shined on Hershey to make a rising dash in the standings. Rather than melting under the pressure of a must-win game, NHL Trade Deadline addition Michael Latta scored a late-game third period goal to give the Bears a 2-1 win over the Adirondack Phantoms.
The Hershey Bears sought their first win of the weekend in a three games in three nights finale against the Portland Pirates. A win for Portland would have punched their ticket to the 2013 AHL Postseason. A win for Hershey would of kept their playoff hopes and dreams alive for the moment.
The Pirates entered play as the most penalized team in the American Hockey League and lived up to their reputation with ten minors against Hershey. The Bears cashed in on a season high five power play goals to cruise to a 6-3 win in Portland. Joey Crabb earned first star honors with a hat trick, and Jeff Taffe earned five helpers en route to his team’s blowout.