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Penalty Kill Helps Bears Grab Series Lead

by Scott Stuccio / Washington Capitals

WORCESTER, Mass.Cameron Schilling scored a shorthanded goal on the first shot of the third period and Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves, helping the Hershey Bears to a 2-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon at DCU Center.

After a scoreless first period in which the Bears were successful on three penalty kills, Hershey used that momentum and converted for the game’s first goal. Nate Schmidt joined in on an odd-man rush and headed to the net front to chase a shot from Jakub Vrana. Wolf Pack goaltender Yann Danis made the initial save, but Schmidt had a virtually open net in which to deposit his third goal of the playoffs at 1:07.

Hershey had a great chance to take a bigger lead late in the period with Justin Vaive in the box for high-sticking. But an individual effort by Joey Crabb brought the former Bears winger into the Hershey zone. Using a defenseman as a screen and after a toe-drag move, Crabb slipped the puck between the right post and Grubauer’s left pad at 19:19 to knot the score.

The Wolf Pack, after killing off a two-man advantage early in the third period, embarked on their fifth power play of the game when Liam O’Brien was called for high-sticking Chad Nehring behind the play. Schilling would block a carry across the blue line by Chris Bourque, and skate through neutral ice into the Hartford zone. Using a defenseman as a screen, Schilling fired a snap shot into the upper-right corner at 10:23.

The Bears held on for the win under strong Hartford pressure late in the game and take a 2-1 series lead.

Grubauer improves to 2-1 in the postseason, while Danis’ record evens at 4-4 with 20 saves on 22 shots.

The Bears and Wolf Pack will play Game Four of this series tomorrow, May 11 at 7:00 PM at DCU Center. Fans may listen to the M&C Foreign Car Parts pre-game show beginning 40 minutes prior to puck drop on the Bears Radio Network of affiliates WQIC-FM 100.1, WKBO-AM 1230, via the iHeart Radio app (WHP-AM 580) or online at whp590.com or theahl.com.

Game Five of the series returns to Chocolatetown on Wednesday, May 13. Face-off is set for 7:00 PM. Individual tickets for this game (Game “EE”) go on sale tomorrow, May 9 at 10:00 AM at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.

NOTES: The Bears scratched G Keegan Asmundson, C Joel Broda, RW Stan Galiev, D Tomas Kundratek and D Jon Landry… Hartford scratched D Kodie Curran, G Cedrick Desjardins, D Dallas Jackson, G Jeff Malcolm, LW Chris McCarthy, G Jason Missiaen, RW Josh Nicholls, C Ryan Potulny, D Steve Spinell, LW Nick Tarnasky and D Daniel Walcott…Hershey finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill…Cameron Schilling’s shorthanded goal was the Bears’ league-leading third of the playoffs and second is as many games…Nate Schmidt’s goal places him in sole possession of the AHL scoring lead among defensemen (3-5-8)…The Bears improved to 3-0 on the road in the postseason, with all three wins coming at DCU Center.

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