The Hershey Bears hosted the Lake Erie Monsters in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals with hopes of tying the series at 1-1. The Monsters entered with the top offense in the AHL and second best power play unit.
In the opening frame, Lake Erie’s high voltage power play unit went to work and capitalized on their first chance. Only 3:05 in, Ryan Craig centered a pass across for Zach Werenski wide open. Werenski beat Justin Peters going from his left to right to make it 1-0.
Lake Erie would use their speed through the neutral zone to create a 2-on-1 rush, and they tallied on the grade “A” opportunity. At 4:29, Oliver Bjorkstrand snapped a shot low past Peters to make it 2-0 Monsters.
The Chocolate and White found themselves on an extended 5-on-3 chance after a boarding infraction followed by a delay of game minor. With 11:12 left, Zach Sill jammed home a rebound to cut Hershey’s deficit to one. As the tide began to turn in favor of the Bears, the quick-striking Monsters grabbed the momentum back.
At 13:51, Lukas Sedlak finished a point-blank chance from the slot to regain Lake Erie’s two goal advantage. The Monsters carry a 3-1 advantage into the third period.
The Chocolate and White would go to the penalty kill six seconds into the third period on a Ryan Stanton check to the head minor. Lake Erie’s success on special teams and lethal power play continued, and added a second power play goal. Bjorkstrand tallied his second of the game on a rebound to open the contest to 4-1 at 2:04.
Hershey’s late comeback surge began with 10:03 left courtesy of Tyler Lewington. Only 1:54 later, Liam O’Brien tallied off a turnover to suddenly pull the Bears within one. Daniel Zaar added the empty net goal with 1:01 left to round out a 5-3 final.
The Lake Erie Monsters will take a 2-0 series lead home to Cleveland for Games 3, 4 and 5 if necessary.
Submitted by Matt Trust