The Hershey Bears are one victory away from repeating as AHL champions – and if they get it, they'll have done it the hard way.
Alexandre Giroux scored 13:28 into overtime Friday night to give the Bears a 2-1 victory over the Texas Stars and a 3-2 lead in the Calder Cup Finals.
The Washington Capitals' top farm team can cap a comeback from a 2-0 series deficit with a win before a sellout crowd back in Hershey on Monday night (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network). The Bears lost the first two games at the Giant Center, then won all three games in Texas.
Giroux slid a rebound through the pads of Matt Climie after the Texas goaltender stopped a shot by Karl Alzner for his 41st save of the night. The rebound popped out of a crowd and onto the stick of Giroux, who scored his 14th of the playoffs and gave the Bears their eighth overtime win of this year's playoffs.
Aaron Gagnon gave the Stars, Dallas' top farm team, the lead 8:03 into the game with a power-play deflection of Dan Jancevski's point shot. Hershey got even at 11:12 of the second when he beat Climie with a quick shot from the slot. Chris Bourque got the primary assist, giving him a playoff-leading 27 points.
The teams then spent more than 40 minutes trading chances, with Climie and Hershey's Michal Neuvirth trading saves before Giroux, a 50-goal scorer during the regular season, won it.
Neuvirth finished with 35 saves as the Bears improved to 11-0 in this year's playoffs when outshooting the opposition.