Streaks end in Hershey
HERSHEY, PA --- The Rochester Americans fell 2-0 to the Hershey Bears in game two of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night. The Bears halted a seven game winning streak for the Amerks, from those games four different Amerks were carrying point streaks into game two, they were all lost along with the win streak. Jiri Kulich and Mason Jobst had each scored at least a point in all of the Amerks playoff wins. Defenseman Ethan Prow had notched an assist in every game since the series tying match-up in Syracuse. Brett Murray scored in every game against Toronto and had continued his streak with a multipoint outing and the game winner in game one against Hershey.
Matt Savoie made his Amerks debut, slotting into the fourth line alongside Brendan Warren and Kohen Olischefski. Malcolm Subban was in between the posts for Rochester, he has played every minute of the playoffs for the Amerks, posting a .904 save percentage on the night.
The first period was slow, especially by Rochester's standards. In game one the team scored 14 seconds in, in game two the first period ended 0-0. Hunter Shepard was in goal for Hershey, looking nothing like the net minder Rochester had scored four goals on in 27 minutes just two days earlier. Coach Appert took notice.
"Hunter Shepard was excellent tonight... we probably had better scoring chances tonight than game one and for whatever reason we didn't execute them and he made probably 4 or 5 big saves at 0-0, as you'd expect an excellent goaltender like him to do after maybe an off outing," Appert said.
Shepard backstopped a strong and physical team in the Hershey Bears. Despite the size difference of the teams, neither truly gained an edge in the first period. That was the theme in the second period as well. The Bears never wavered from their physical play, Rochester took hit after hit. Eventually the tie was broken when Hershey earned a power play with just over four minutes to go in the second.
Henrik Borgstrom scored from the right wing on a screened goal for the Bears. Just a few minutes later Beck Malenstyn defied physics and put the puck in on the short side of Subban with 32 seconds left in the period. The third period was back to indecisive hockey, the Amerks created a couple chances, none could get passed Shepard. Neither team truly looked to gain an upper hand in the final frame, Hershey didn't need to though as they were already leading by two.
The Amerks and Bears will head to Rochester for game three with the series now split at 1-1. Blue Cross Arena is already sold out for game three, it will be Savoie's first time playing at home in an Amerks jersey.
"It's Exciting, It's not too often you get to play in front of sold out barns. I definitely haven't played in front of too many this year so I'm really excited. Fans energy, you can definitely build off it and I'm looking forward to the next game," Savoie said.