- The HERSHEY BEARS look to advance to the 2009 Calder Cup Finals Monday afternoon, taking on the Providence Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The BEARS lead the best-of-seven series three games to one after another thrilling comeback Sunday night in Game 4.
The BEARS fell behind Sunday night 2-0 in the first period, with Providence's Peter Schaefer and Jeff Penner each tallying goals to help the home team. But for the second consecutive game, HERSHEY mustered the offense needed to post another impressive comeback. Bryan Helmer, who scored a power play goal late in the third period in Game 3 to ice a victory, began the rebound in Game 4 with another goal on the man advantage. Helmer's center point shot in the second period got the BEARS on the scoreboard, and Keith Aucoin scored the game-tying goal midway through the third. The two teams played well into overtime when Graham Mink scored in close against Providence goalie Tuukka Rask to ensure victory. For Mink, it was his second straight game-winning goal in the series. The win gives HERSHEY a chance on Monday to close the series and advance to the Calder Cup Finals for the third time in the last four seasons.
It's possible on Monday that both the 2009 Western and Eastern Conference champion will be crowned. The BEARS can advance with a victory, and so too can the Manitoba Moose. Manitoba will face Houston in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Monday night at 8:35 p.m. eastern, leading the series three games to two. A win by the Chocolate and White and also by the Moose will pit the two clubs against one another in the Calder Cup Finals. Should Houston force a Game 7, that contest would be Wednesday night in downtown Winnipeg.
Monday's Game 5 can be heard via the BEARS Radio Network (100.1 FM, 1490 AM, Sportsjuice.com, AHLLive.com) beginning with the pregame show at 3:45 p.m. John Walton has the call of the action from Dunkin Donuts Center. The game can also be heard in the United States and Canada on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio on XM channel 204 and Sirius channel 208. Tickets are on sale now for HERSHEY'S next home playoff game. Call the GIANT Center box office for more information at (717) 534-3911.