Mueller's Shorthanded OT Goal Pushes Hershey to the BrinkMay 13, 2015
(Photo courtesy of JustSports Photography)
Chris Mueller scored his second goal of the game shorthanded at 11:32 of overtime Wednesday night at Giant Center in Hershey, PA, to give the Wolf Pack a 5-4 win over the Hershey Bears and a three-games-to-two lead in the teams’ best-of-seven, second-round playoff series.
The Wolf Pack will go for the knockout punch in the series Friday night at the XL Center, in Game Six.
Mueller also tied Game Five for the Wolf Pack with 3:24 left in the third period, and had an assist as well. Chris Bourque added a goal and two assists. Garrett Mitchell and Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist each for Hershey.
The Wolf Pack were hit with a too-many-men-on-the-ice bench minor at the 11:13 mark of overtime, but it would be the Wolf Pack who came out of that situation with a goal. Chad Nehring sent the puck into the Hershey zone and headed in to pressure, eventually working it to the front of the net to Mueller, who fired a shot into the top corner on the glove side of Bear goaltender Philipp Grubauer (37 saves).
The Wolf Pack got off to a fine start in the first period, drawing two penalties in the first 2:09 and scoring on a two-man advantage at 2:39. Danny Kristo got his first goal of the series, and second of the playoffs, on a shot from the middle of the blue line that went through a screen set by Carl Klingberg and past the stick side of Grubauer.
The Bears rebounded quickly from that, though, and would score three times later on in the first.
Hershey tied the score 11 seconds into its first power play of the game at 7:21, with Joey Crabb off for tripping. Connor Carrick’s shot from the blue line got by Wolf Pack netminder Yann Danis (34 saves), who was screened by Liam O’Brien.
Only 1:23 later, at 8:44, Stephenson scored his first pro playoff goal to give Hershey a 2-1 lead. Stephenson got by Tommy Hughes on left wing, cut toward the net and slipped a backhander underneath Danis’ pads.
Mitchell made it a 3-1 Bear advantage at 13:16, with Hershey’s third shorthanded goal of the series. With Mike Moore in the box for hooking, the Wolf Pack failed to get the puck deep at the offensive blue line, and Steve Oleksy sent Mitchell away. Mitchell got behind Michael Kostka and beat Danis with a backhander to the stick side.
The Wolf Pack got one back with the only goal of the second period, the first pro playoff tally for Conor Allen. Grubauer denied a Bourque shot from the slot, off of a pass from the right-wing corner by Marek Hrivik, but Allen was able to sweep the rebound in from the bottom of the left circle, as he was being knocked to the ice.
Hartford outshot the Bears 16-7 in the third period and twice came back to tie the game.
Bourque scored his fourth goal of the playoffs and third of the series at 12:09, making it 3-3. Bourque tracked down a loose puck in the slot and, as two Hershey defenders got in each other’s way, rapped it through Grubauer.
Hershey grabbed the lead back just 1:18 later, with Liam O’Brien scoring his first of the series at 13:27. Moore put the puck to the middle from just off the left-wing boards, and O’Brien deflected it over Danis’ catching glove.
The Wolf Pack drew even again at 16:36, as Kostka threw the puck at the net from the left-wing boards, and Mueller headed hard to the net and jammed the rebound past Grubauer.
Faceoff for Game Six Friday night is 7:00 at the XL Center. Fans can reserve their tickets now, at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Hartford Wolf Pack 5 (OT) at Hershey Bears 4
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - Giant Center
Hartford 1 1 2 1 - 5
Hershey 3 0 1 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Hartford, Kristo 2 (Mueller, C. Bourque), 2:39 (PP). 2, Hershey, Carrick 2 (Brown, Kennedy), 7:21 (PP). 3, Hershey, Stephenson 1 (Mitchell, Oleksy), 8:44. 4, Hershey, Mitchell 1 (Oleksy), 13:16 (SH). Penalties-Kennedy Her (tripping), 1:03; Moore Her (hooking), 2:09; Crabb Hfd (tripping), 7:10; Moore Her (hooking), 12:43.
2nd Period-5, Hartford, Allen 1 (C. Bourque, Hrivik), 6:22. Penalties-Skjei Hfd (roughing, roughing), 19:21; Brown Her (roughing, roughing), 19:21.
3rd Period-6, Hartford, C. Bourque 4 (Hrivik, Crabb), 12:09. 7, Hershey, L. O'Brien 3 (Moore, Stephenson), 13:27. 8, Hartford, Mueller 4 (Kostka, Bodie), 16:36. Penalties-Kostka Hfd (slashing), 5:41; Kostka Hfd (holding), 17:18.
OT Period-9, Hartford, Mueller 5 (Nehring), 11:39 (SH). Penalties-served by Kristo Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 11:13.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 9-13-16-4-42. Hershey 12-12-7-7-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Hershey 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Danis 6-3-0 (38 shots-34 saves). Hershey, Grubauer 2-3-0 (42 shots-37 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (44), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Shandor Alphonso (52), Jud Ritter (34).