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Bears Fall 6-2 to Firebirds in Game 3 of Calder Cup Finals

June 19, 2024

Henrik Rybinski and Alex Limoges scored for the Hershey Bears (11-6), but Max McCormick scored three goals for the Coachella Valley Firebirds (12-3), and Hershey fell by a 6-2 score in Game 3 of the 2024 Calder Cup Finals on Tuesday night at Acrisure Arena. Coachella Valley now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.


The Firebirds took an early 1-0 lead with the man advantage after Kole Lind's shot was not completely secured by Hunter Shepard, and McCormick stuffed the puck past the netminder just 2:20 into the contest.

McCormick struck again at 6:03 when he parked himself in front of the Hershey net and jammed a centering feed past Shepard to make it 2-0 for Coachella Valley.

Rybinski got Hershey on the board at 8:50 when Mike Vecchione gathered a blocked shot in the defensive zone and sprung Ivan Miroshnichenko and Rybinski for a 2-on-1 rush, and as Miroshnichenko flipped it to his left for Rybinski, the forward buried his fifth of the postseason past Chris Driedger.

The Bears tied the game 2-2 with a power-play strike just 1:29 into the second period when Limoges redirected Ethen Frank's shot from the blue line for his fourth of the playoffs. Joe Snively earned a secondary assist.

Lleyton Roed responded at 4:06 to give the Firebirds a 3-2 lead after Ryker Evans' shot struck the post and Roed knocked it into the cage.

Ryan Winterton restored the two-goal lead for Coachella Valley at 16:00 when the puck rolled through the crease and he lifted it past Shepard.

Shane Wright scored to make it 5-2 at 7:01 of the third period, resulting in Hershey replacing Shepard in net with Clay Stevenson.

With Stevenson pulled for an extra skater, McCormick completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal at 18:24 to close out the scoring. McCormick's hat trick was the first three-goal game by an opposing player against the Bears in the Calder Cup Finals since June 2, 2009, when Jason Jaffray managed the feat for the Manitoba Moose in Game 2 of the championship series.

Shots finished 42-24 in favor of the Firebirds. Shepard took the loss for Hershey with a 31-for-36 performance, while Stevenson went 5-for-5 in relief; Driedger earned the victory for Coachella Valley by going 22-for-24. The Bears went 1-for-2 on the power play; the Firebirds went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

The Bears continue the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs when they face the Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals on Thursday, June 20, at 10 p.m. (ET) at Acrisure Arena. Should a Game 6 be necessary for the best-of-seven series, the Bears will host the Firebirds on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at GIANT Center. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.

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