Game One of the Atlantic Division semifinal series between the Hershey Bears and the host Portland Pirates can be summed up in three words:
- Nerves. It was blatantly obvious that nerves were showing on the part of some of Hershey’s rookies. And you simply have to feel for them. It is not an easy task to claim a division title and be pressured to get a good start in game one on the road. It is difficult. Trust me.
- Turnovers. A direct result of nerves is turnovers. Dan Ellis did all he could in this game, stopping breakaways as early as 25 seconds into the game. Corban Knight, Wade Megan, Wayne Simpson – all were victimized by the Bears backstop, but the Bears could not do much to help Ellis out. They were under fire all game.
- Penalties. The Bears got Hershey’s first four power plays of the night, and the Pirates got the next four. Neither team’s penalty kill budged. But a crucial slashing penalty inside the final minute of play, with the Bears already having battled back to trail 5-4, ended up giving the Pirates the amount of puck possession time they needed. 10 seconds less than they needed, actually.
So that’s it. Put it in the rear-view mirror, wipe the slate clean, shake off the loss and get back at it tomorrow. No time to dwell. The fact that the Bears as a team got together and nearly made this comeback complete has got to be a help.
We will go on the air at 6:20 again tomorrow, and the puck drops at 7:00. Here is the link to the recap.
Thanks for listening everyone!