04/24/2009 - NEUVIRTH SHINES AS BEARS ADVANCE TO DIVISION FINALS FRIDAY NIGHT WITH 1-0 WIN AT GIANT CENTER
By: John Walton
The HERSHEY BEARS are in the elite eight of the American Hockey League's Calder Cup playoffs tonight, defeating the Philadelphia Phantoms 1-0 at GIANT Center. The win moves the Chocolate and White into the 2009 East Division Finals, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Only one goal was scored in the entire game, and it came off the stick of HERSHEY'S Graham Mink 90 seconds into the second period. Philadelphia had to kill off ten power plays in the game, nine of which the Phantoms were successful at. BEARS goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped Jonathan Matsumoto on a penalty shot early in the second period, and preserved his first career Calder Cup playoff shutout, making 23 saves. The game marked the final time the BEARS and Philadelphia will ever meet. The Phantoms are departing the Delaware valley after 13 years and two Calder Cup titles.
Notes: Washington assigned former first round pick John Carlson to HERSHEY on Friday. The defenseman picked up 76 points in 59 games for London (OHL) this past season. Sean Collins made his 2009 Calder Cup playoff debut Friday, taking the place of injured defenseman Staffan Kronwall. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won 4-2 Friday at home against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to also advance to the 2009 East Division Finals. Tickets for the first two games of the series are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Michal Neuvirth (Looking like a guy ready to put this team on his back)
2. Graham Mink (Big goal Graham does it again in the playoffs)
3. Jean-Sebastien Aubin (Terrific goaltending performance in defeat)