FINAL (3)OT: Pirates 2 at Bears 1

The Hershey Bears and Portland Pirates continued their best of five series on Thursday with Game 3. Mike McKenna and Justin Peters squared off in goal for the second consecutive game in the series, and both were perfect in the opening period.

McKenna stopped all 12 shots he faced in the opening 20, as well as Peters’ on five shots. The first shot Justin Peters stopped in the game came on a breakaway developed from nearly 100 feet away.

The Chocolate and White continued to pound the net in the second period and were rewarded at 5:27. Nathan Walker finished a pretty passing play started by Madison Bowey and continued by Dustin Gazley on an odd-man rush.

But the story of the second period was a sensational 6-for-6 penalty kill led by Justin Peters. Special teams. We saw it first hand in 2009 and 2010 — It will win you championships.

Special teams provided the Bears with a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.

With 13:32 remaining in regulation, Portland found the equalizer on a wrap around. Greg McKegg danced around the net and beat Peters low to the ice to knot the contest. The goal forced overtime, and three, sudden-death overtime periods were needed. At 3:10 of the third overtime, Rob Flick scored on a rush to end the hockey game after four hours and six minutes.

The Bears’ backs are against the wall, but overcoming adversity has been a theme all season.

See you Saturday!

Submitted by Matt Trust