HERSHEY, Pa. – Jakub Vrana opened the scoring for the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Finals, but the Lake Erie Monsters tallied four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night at GIANT Center. The Monsters lead the best-of-seven series one game to none.
The Bears got the jump in the game when Vrana headed into the mid-slot to collect a Chris Bourque pass. He had time to take aim and snap a shot off of the back crossbar and down behind goaltender Anton Forsberg at 15:42.
Justin Peters came up huge in the first two periods, denying three breakaway chances by the Monsters, but the visitors would eventually score on their fourth. Daniel Zaar collected a headman pass from Alex Broadhurst and beat Peters inside the right post at 7:48 to tie the contest.
Early in the third, Lake Erie got perhaps the luckiest goal of the postseason. A turnaround shot by Trent Vogelhuber from the left circle deflected off of an Aaron Ness poke-check and perfectly by Peters at 5:39 for the go-ahead goal.
Zaar scored his second of the game at 13:34, pick-pocketing the Hershey defense and backhanding a shot behind Peters for a 3-1 lead.
The Monsters rounded out the scoring when Markus Hannikainen deflected a point shot from Dean Kukan behind Peters at 15:09.
Peters stopped 22 shots but fell to 11-6 in the postseason. Forsberg remained perfect at 6-0 with 26 saves on 27 shots. The Bears finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play and did not take a penalty in the game.
The Lake Erie Monsters have now won six straight games for the second time this postseason.
Hershey will host game two of the Calder Cup Finals on Friday, June 3, with faceoff set for 7:00 PM.
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