With another packed house at Giant Center in Hershey, PA, for game two of the Calder Cup finals, The Bears are looking to even up the series in front of the hometown crowd.
Hershey was looking to rebound in game 2 after losing game one by a 2-1 score to the Texas Stars.
It wasn't to be.
The visiting Stars beat the Bears 4-3 in game two and now lead the series 2-0, heading back to Texas. The Stars have home-ice advantage with the next three games in Austin, starting Monday night.
Texas jumped out 1-0 in the first period with a nice goal from Aaron Gagnon, who finished a partial breakaway, pulling ahead from Bears forward Andrew Gordon.
Colton Sceviour fed a beautiful lead pass to Gagnon, who slid the puck just passed Michal Neuvirth through the legs at the 1:00 mark of the opening period.
The Bears would rally back.
Texas went on a power play and Bears forward Steve Pinizzotto would pressure Stars forward Perttu Lindgren at the Bears left point, breaking out on a two on one, shorthanded with Andrew Jourdrey. Pinizzotto would make it 1-1 with a rocket of a shot that beat Stars goalie Matt Climie short side glove hand.
A little lady luck would put the Stars up 2-1, as Garrett Stafford would get the credit for the lead goal on the power play. His shot form the point was deflected in, passed Bears goalie Mihal Neuvirth and Bears defenseman Bryan Helmer, midway through the second period.
The Bears would rally back... again.
Forty-six seconds later, Francois Bouchard would score from the left point on a one-timer from Bears defenseman Patrick Wellar on the return pass.
The goal developed out of the corner, just to the right of Climie as Bears winger Ashton Rome picked up an assist on the play to make the score 2-2 at 11:49 of the second period.
Three minutes into the third period, Texas got the lead back, when Mathieu Beaudoin scored on a pass from Perttu Lindgren.
Lindgren's great individual effort, using his speed through the neutral zone, split the defense and drew Bears defenseman Patrick McNeill across the slot after going around his defense partner, Bryan Helmer. Lindgren then slipped a pass across to a wide open Beaudoin, who hit the empty net to give the Stars a 3-2 lead with 16 minutes remaining in the third.
The Bears would rally back... yet again.
Just over four minutes after the Stars took the lead, the Bears would respond. Andrew Gordon scored his 11th goal of the playoffs off a rebound from a point shot from Patrick Wellar.
Stars defenseman Garrett Stafford turned over the puck along the boards, allowing Keith Aucion to pass back to the point for Wellar. Climie made the right pad save, only to have the rebound land on Gordon's stick and he makes no mistake to tie the score at three with just under ten minutes remaining in regulation.
It was the third time in the game that the Bears rallied to tie, but the Stars would continue to have lady luck on their side.
While working hard in the remaining minutes of the third period, as the Bears were pressing the Stars, Texas winger Scott McCulloch would fire a shot from a broken play at the top of the slot with under a minute to go in regulation. Travis Morin would put in the rebound off the back boards, on his backhand, to give the Stars a 4-3 lead with 45 seconds remaining.
The Stars were outshot 15-8 in the third period.
The Stars held on to win game 2 and take a 2-0 series lead heading home for the next three games in Austin.
Game 3 is Monday, June 7th, 8:30pm Eastern time game time start. All Calder Cup games can be heard on XM radio channel 204.
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