HERSHEY, PA -- The Atlantic Division Semifinal of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs is slated to go the distance after the Hershey Bears defeated the Portland Pirates on Saturday night to even up the series at two games apiece.
The decisive Game 5 of this series will be played on Sunday, May 1 at 5:00 PM.
“We’re going home either way,” Pirates Head Coach Scott Allen said. “We’re either going home on a happy bus or we’re going home extremely disappointed and certainly feeling like we let one slip away if that happens.”
The Pirates were held without a goal in 2-0 loss to the Bears in Game 4, which came just two days after Portland’s thrilling 2-1 victory in triple overtime in Game 3. Travis Boyd and Chris Borque scored for the Bears, while goaltender Justin Peters stopped all 19 shots he faced to earn his first Calder Cup playoffs shutout.
“They played a desperate game,” Allen said of the Bears. “We played like we thought we won the series because we won a triple overtime game. All that did was give us two wins in the series -- that’s it. We played like the series was done. They’ve got a lot of playoff experience over [in Hershey]. They’ve got guys that have won Calder Cups, and it showed.
“As much as we tried to prepare our guys for it and talk about it, I’m a huge believer in actions speak louder than words. Everything I talked about, the Hershey Bears backed up with how they played.”
If the Pirates hope to secure a series-clinching victory and advance to play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the Atlantic Division Final, the team is aware that they will need to see more production from their power play, which has gone 0-for-12 over the past two games.
“There’s only so much we can do as a staff,” Allen said. “[The players] can dig in and leave it all on the ice, and even that’s not going to guarantee a win. But at least they can walk out of here, one way or another, with their heads held high. Anything less than anyone’s best will certainly be unacceptable.”
The game can be seen on AHL Live and heard on 95.9/95.5 FM and online here.