05/09/2009 - PENGUINS PUSH BEARS TO BRINK WITH 4-1 WIN IN GAME 5
By: John Walton
Home sweet home has been paramount so far in the 2009 East Division Finals, with the home team winning each of the first five games. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins moved within a single win of advancing to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals Saturday night, defeating the BEARS 4-1 in Game 5 of the East Division Finals.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton used the power play to its advantage in the first period Saturday night scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead to the dressing room at intermission. Chris Minard put home a power play marker at 8:55 to break the ice, followed by Luca Caputi's strike at 13:43. The Penguins picked up 15 first period shots in Game 5, to HERSHEY'S 12, leading it 2-0 after one.
HERSHEY would cut the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead in half at 5:19 with Darren Reid's first goal of the 2009 postseason, making the score 2-1. But the power play again proved to be too much for the BEARS to handle at Wachovia Arena, as Nick Johnson tallied for the Penguins on the man advantage at 15:08. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton maintained a two goal lead after two. The Pens would score what turned out to be the only goal of the final period, an empty netter by Jeff Taffe in the final minute. The BEARS will face elimination for the first time in the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs on Sunday in Game 6 of the East Division Finals at GIANT Center.
Notes: Game 6 between the BEARS and Penguins will be Sunday at GIANT Center with a 5:00 p.m. faceoff. Tickets for the game are still available at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Karl Alzner missed Game 5 due to injury, as did Grant McNeill. Francois Bouchard missed the game as a healthy scratch. Kip Brennan and Reid each made their 2009 Calder Cup playoff debuts Saturday, and Sean Collins re-entered the lineup for the first time since Game 4 of the East Division Semi-Finals against Philadelphia. Should a Game 7 in the series be necessary, it would be played Tuesday night at GIANT Center.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Adam Berkhoel (Perhaps his best effort of the series, 39 saves)
2. Luca Caputi (Two point night)
3. Darren Reid (Scored goal in second, his first as a BEAR in postseason play)