Facing elimination, we anticipated a quick start out of the Chocolate and White. Sure enough, the Hershey Bears answered the bell in the opening period of Game 4.
With 7:09 left in the first, Jakub Vrana dropped a perfect backhand pass to Travis Boyd. Boyd roofed a shot over Mike McKenna to give the Bears a key early advantage. At 15:10, Hershey received their first power play chance of the night, and luckily hit pay-dirt.
Chris Bourque moved lateral along the blue line after wheeling from the half boards, and unloaded a blast on McKenna. Bourque’s movement and quick trigger caught McKenna off squared to the puck.
A period dominated on 5-on-5 play and the special teams has Hershey up 2-0 after 20 minutes.
Both teams exchanged eight shots in the middle period, all stopped by Justin Peters and McKenna. The Bears killed off a key 5-on-3 for six seconds in the final minute of the second period, leading to two chances shorthanded.
The tight defensive effort and superb penalty kill carried into the third stanza. Peters made seven more saves to complete a 19 save clean sheet, highlighted by the kill of a key minor penalty with 10:04 to play.
Overall, 1-for-2 on the advantage, 3-for-3 on the kill and 19 shots against to Hershey’s 28. It is the perfect recipe for a 2-0 win in Game 4 to force a decisive Game 5 tomorrow.
Submitted by Matt Trust