Hershey’s road resilience pays off, Bears can close out Providence with a win in Game 6 Tuesday at Giant Center
How did the Hershey Bears build a 3-2 series lead over Providence heading into Game 6 Tuesday night at Giant Center?
Solid goaltending has been a major key for the Bears, now just one win away from advancing to the next round.
And you could also call Hershey “opportunistic” after the Bears emerged from their three-game set in Rhode Island with two victories, including Sunday’s 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5.
The Bruins, who won Game 1 in Hershey and Game 4 on their own ice, outshot the Bears 110-43 in the three games.
And Hershey had to switch to rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek Sunday with starter Phoenix Copley injured.
Vanecek responded with 27 saves and Hershey defenseman Madison Bowey scored the game-winner 1:58 into overtime, beating Providence standout goalie Zane McIntyre.
“(Vanecek) made some key saves,” Hershey coach Troy Mann said in a video posted on Hershey’s website.
“We were much more committed without the puck in all three zones.”
The series has featured three overtime games and Hershey has won all three.
“I think that’s probably up there for the top one,” Bowen said, asked about his game-winning goal, in another video.
He added: “I know our last two starts previous to this game haven’t been our best.
“They like playing in this rink and they come out hard, so I think we wanted to match there compete level.”
The Bears also got a lift from the return of forward Paul Carey, who returned from the Washington Capitals to score Hershey’s second goal on Sunday.
A 3-2 series lead courtesy of three overtime wins. A hungry Bruins team that outshot the Bears by a wide margin only to win one of three home games. Hershey’s matchup with the Bruins Tuesday will not be an easy close-out for the home team.
“I think we’ve got to re-set here,” Bowey said Sunday.
“Obviously, this was a huge win for us but we’ve got to put it behind us. … Hopefully (Game 6) goes in our favor.”