Game Recap from HersheyBears.com

Garrett Roe scored at 7:38 of overtime to lift the Hershey Bears (10-4) to a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Monsters (9-5) in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to clinch in front of a sellout crowd of 10,520 on Wednesday night at GIANT Center, and send Hershey to the 2024 Calder Cup Finals.

By defeating the Monsters, Hershey secured its seventh Richard F. Canning Trophy, indicative of the Eastern Conference championship since 1998. The Bears will make their league-leading 25th appearance in the American Hockey League’s championship series, featuring a rematch of the 2023 Calder Cup Finals against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, in which Hershey defeated Coachella Valley on the road in sudden-death overtime of Game 7. The Bears have earned home ice advantage for the 2024 Calder Cup Finals by virtue of winning the MacGregor Kilpatrick Trophy for finishing the 2023-24 regular season with the top record in the AHL.

Hershey will look to defend its 2023 Calder Cup title (its league-leading 12th championship) and become the 10th team in the history of the AHL to repeat as Calder Cup champions, joining the Buffalo Bisons (1943-44), Cleveland Barons (1953-54), Hershey Bears (1958-59; 2009-10), Springfield Indians (1960-61-62; 1990-91), Rochester Americans (1965-66), Nova Scotia Voyageurs (1976-77), and Maine Mariners (1978-79).

The Bears’ all-time series record when winning the opening game of a series improved to 58-19; the club’s overall win-loss record in potential series-clinching games improved to 80-70, and Hershey is now 11-9 in playoff Game 7s.

Hershey also earned its first series win against Cleveland, improving to 1-1 lifetime in playoff series against the Monsters franchise. Hendrix Lapierre led the Bears in scoring for the series with seven points (1g, 6a), while Hunter Shepard went 4-3 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. Four games were decided in overtime during the series, matching the franchise record (2010 Eastern Conference Finals vs. Manchester (3-1 overtime record), won series, 4-2). Hershey’s three overtime victories also matched club marks for most overtime wins in a series. Shepard’s Game 7 victory was his 24th career playoff win with the Bears, moving him into a tie with Gordon “Red” Henry for fourth in team history; the win also marked Shepard’s seventh career overtime triumph for the Chocolate and White, which ranks third in franchise history.


The Monsters drew first blood with a power-play goal from Trey Fix-Wolansky at 19:02 of the first period.

It didn’t take long for the Bears to respond, however, as Henrik Rybinski found Alex Limoges, who brought the puck behind the net to the right corner and fed it high to Logan Day, who one-timed his second of the playoffs past Jet Greaves at 19:41.

Pierrick Dubé gave Hershey a 2-1 lead early in the second period with a power-play tally after shots from Hendrix Lapierre and Joe Snively were initially denied on back-to-back attempts, but Dubé collected the loose puck in the slot and snapped it past Greaves at 4:14 for his third of the playoffs.

Cleveland tied the game in the third when James Malatesta gathered the puck in the slot and snapped it past Shepard at 14:08, forcing the fourth sudden-death overtime game of the series.

Roe clinched the game and series for Hershey when Day took a pass from Huntington, and Day’s initial shot was blocked but quickly gathered by Roe, who snapped the puck over the glove of Greaves for his sixth of the playoffs.

Shots finished 44-30 in favor of the Monsters. Shepard went 42-for-44 in the win for Hershey; Greaves went 27-for-30 in the loss for Cleveland. The Bears went 1-for-3 on the power play; the Monsters went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

The Bears continue the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs when they host the Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals on Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at GIANT Center. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.