Pack Score another OT Win in Game One at HersheyMay 6, 2015
(Photo courtesy of JustSports Photography)
Chris Bourque, a former Hershey Bear, beat his old team for the Wolf Pack Wednesday night at Giant Center in Hershey, PA, scoring at 16:47 of overtime to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 victory over the Bears, in Game One of the teams’ best-of-seven, second-round playoff series.
On the winning goal, Oscar Lindberg picked up the puck in the right-wing corner of the Hershey zone and moved around to the opposite side of the net. He then fed the puck to Bourque, who beat his check down the slot and snapped a quick, low shot past Bear goaltender Philipp Grubauer (41 saves).
“Joe (Joey Crabb) made a great play keeping the puck in the zone, he batted it out of the air and our defenseman threw it behind the net,” Bourque said of the winning play. “I was in the corner, I let it go to [Lindberg] and kind of curled up, went through the slot and Oscar made an unbelievable pass to me, and I just buried it.”
Bourque spent most of the first seven years of his career in Hershey, and won three Calder Cups with the Bears.
“Obviously it means a lot,” Bourque said of scoring an overtime winner in his old home rink, “but I’m really just happy that we got the win. I thought we really deserved it. We were playing really well all game, and in overtime we were all over them, and got some really Grade A chances and couldn’t bury. So I’m just happy that shot went in.”
Yann Danis improved to 4-2 in the postseason with 36 saves in the Wolf Pack net, and Chris Mueller had the other Hartford goal. Chris Conner had the only Hershey score.
“It was a great play,” was Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander’s comment about the winning goal, “and I think we had a lot of good efforts. You look at Yann, some of the saves he made to keep it a one-goal game, he was excellent again tonight. I thought our whole team played real well, and I’m pleased with the effort, pleased with the outcome.”
The Wolf Pack had a strong start to the first period, getting five of the first six shots on goal, but minor penalties to the Wolf Pack for too many men on the ice at 7:06 and to Justin Vaive for interference at 9:51 turned the momentum. The Bears would finish the first with a 16-9 shots advantage, and took the first lead of the series with 53.5 seconds left in the session.
Conner got his second goal of the postseason at 19:06, as he wound around behind the Wolf Pack net from left to right and sent the puck into the slot area. It hit the skates of a backchecking Lindberg and deflected into the net, with Danis caught on the far side.
A Wolf Pack power-play goal by Mueller was the only scoring of the second period, and that came with Erik Burgdoerfer in the penalty box for interference.
A shot by Marek Hrivik from the bottom of the left-wing circle was blocked, but the puck squirted to Mueller at the right side of the goal mouth, and Grubauer had no chance on Mueller’s close-in shot.
The rest of the second period and the entire third were scoreless, and the Wolf Pack dominated the overtime, finishing the extra session with a 12-3 shots advantage after Bourque’s winner.
Game Two of the series is this Friday night, May 8 at Giant Center, with faceoff at 7:00 PM. All of the action of that battle can be heard live on-line at www.979espn.com and on iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Wolf Pack’s first two home games of the series are set for this Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 PM and Monday, May 11 at 7:00. Due to scheduling conflicts at the XL Center, those games will be played at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. Tickets for the two games in Worcester will all be priced at $13 each (additional fees apply for on-line and phone orders). To order, go on-line to www.ticketmaster.com, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit the DCU Center Box Office.
If a Game Six is necessary in the series, it will be played at the XL Center Friday, May 15, with faceoff at 7:00. Fans can reserve their tickets now for that game, at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. If Game Six of the series is not played, a refund will be issued to the credit card used for the purchase.
Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (OT) at Hershey Bears 1
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - Giant Center
Hartford 0 1 0 1 - 2
Hershey 1 0 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Hershey, Conner 2 (Burgdoerfer), 19:06. Penalties-served by Klingberg Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 7:06; Vaive Hfd (interference), 9:51.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Mueller 3 (Hrivik, Vaive), 5:28 (PP). Penalties-J. O'Brien Her (high-sticking), 2:47; Burgdoerfer Her (interference), 4:06; Skjei Hfd (roughing), 19:56; Mitchell Her (roughing), 19:56.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Kristo Hfd (roughing), 12:12; Carrick Her (roughing), 12:12.
OT Period-3, Hartford, C. Bourque 2 (Lindberg, Crabb), 16:47. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-12-10-12-43. Hershey 16-11-7-3-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 2; Hershey 0 / 2.
Goalies-Hartford, Danis 4-1-0 (37 shots-36 saves). Hershey, Grubauer 1-1-0 (43 shots-41 saves).
Referees-Garrett Rank (48), Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Tom George (61), Jud Ritter (34).