05/24/2009 - MINK, BEARS PUSH BRUINS TO BRINK WITH 3-2 OVERTIME THRILLER
By: John Walton
The HERSHEY BEARS stand just one win away from its third Calder Cup Finals appearance in four seasons after a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Providence Bruins at Dunkin Donuts Center. An early deficit was again erased, and the BEARS have the Bruins searching for answers.
Providence again started quickly, scoring a pair of goals before first intermission. Peter Schaefer got the offense started for the Bruins with his third goal of the postseason at 5:32. Jeff Penner then secured his third goal in two games for Providence, scoring from in close against Michal Neuvirth on the power play at 8:12. Both teams fired 10 shots on goal in period one, with the Bruins leading 2-0 after 20 minutes.
HERSHEY would enjoy the majority of scoring chances in the second period, and scored the only goal of the middle stanza when Bryan Helmer cashed in on a center point shot. Helmer's third goal of the postseason was assisted by Chris Bourque at 7:31 and came on the power play. The BEARS went to second intermission trailing 2-1.
Mirroring the second period, the Chocolate and White would score the lone goal of the period and forced overtime. Keith Aucoin scored his third goal of the Calder Cup playoffs at 13:12 from Graham Mink and Keith Aucoin to force sudden death.
Following his game-winning goal Friday night in Game 3, Mink would again complete the HERSHEY rally in Game 4. After a dominant overtime period in which the BEARS outshot the Bruins 12-6, the Stowe, VT native scored in close against Providence goaltender Tuukka Rask at 15:10 to seal victory. The win gives the BEARS a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven seven series, and HERSHEY can advance to the Calder Cup Finals with a win on Monday afternoon in Rhode Island.
Notes: The BEARS and Bruins will play Game 5 of this best-of-seven series Monday afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. faceoff. The game, in addition to being heard on the BEARS Radio Network (100.1 FM, Sportsjuice.com, AHLLive.com) will be carried in the United States and Canada on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. XM 204 and Sirius 208 will carry the game from coast-to-coast. John Carlson, after a one-game absence, was back in the lineup Sunday night. Carlson replaced Sean Collins, who was sidelined with an undisclosed injury. The foray into overtime marked just the second time in the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs that HERSHEY played past regulation. The sudden death winner for Mink marked the first time HERSHEY had won a playoff game in overtime against a team other than Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Eric Fehr scored his Game 7 overtime winner against the Portland Pirates on May 30, 2006 at GIANT Center
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game:
1. Graham Mink (Big goal Graham's second straight game-winner)
2. Keith Aucoin (His goal in the third forced overtime)
3. Bryan Helmer (Two goals in two games for the veteran)