HERSHEY, PA – Surprisingly, Giant Center hasn’t been kind to its hometown team, until Sunday night. After three consecutive losses on home ice, the Hershey Bears used a late rally to force overtime and broke the skid with a Travis Boyd goal for the 3-2 win.
After surrendering three goals in the first period in game 1, Hershey desperately needed a good first in Game 2. Their energy and urgency were noticeable in the opening frame as they outshot Providence 10-4 but couldn’t find a goal.
Madison Bowey jumping back in for injured Colby Williams made his presence felt in a big way in the second. Bowey walked into a blast from the point to give the hometown Bears the all-important first goal.
The lead would not long very long, however. I mentioned how the Bears needed to watch out for Wayne Simpson and he showed them why. Simpson scored two goals in 6:29 in the second to change the complexion of the game in a hurry. The first of which was a highlight real backhander while falling down. The second was a play that he made and then crashed the net to bury his own rebound. His work renewed the Bruins energy and they took it to Hershey.
Providence failed to score on a lengthy 5-on-3 opportunity that carried into the third. The kill was exactly what the Bears needed as they pushed the Bruins to the brink but couldn’t beat McIntyre.
Stanislav Galiev was tripped up late in the third period giving the Bears one last opportunity to tie the game up. Without a single powerplay goal in the playoffs, the Bears needed something in the worst way down 2-1. Christian Djoos answered the call from the point. He hesitated just long enough on the slapshot to get the puck through and in to tie the game at two with 2:30 left in regulation. Late chances by both sides went by the wayside and this game would require overtime.
It was very clear who was in charge once the extra session began. The Bears came on strong and it seemed only a matter of time before they broke through. Travis Boyd became the hero they were looking for. Off a faceoff loss in the offensive zone, Stan Galiev won the puck away from a Bruins defender and found Boyd in the high slot. Boyd unleashed a wrister right through the five-hole to send the series to Rhode Island even at 1-all.
Boyd played a role in all three of Hershey’s goals as he assisted on both goals in regulation. His three points in this game were his first of the playoffs.
Pheonix Copley made 25 stops on 27 shots including 13 in the second period alone. Bruins goalie Zane McIntyre also stopped 25 but faced one more shot (28).
The series resumes on Thursday night at 7:05 pm in Providence. The Bruins are 1-1 at home this postseason, while the Bears are 3-0 on the road.