July 20th, 2024

Bears beat Firebirds 5-2 to level AHL’s Calder Cup final at 1-1

By The Associated Press on June 16, 2024.

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) – Hunter Shepard made 32 saves, Jimmy Huntington and Pierrick Dubé scored late in the second period and the Hershey Bears beat the Coachella Valley Firebirds 5-2 on Sunday night in Game 2 to even the Calder Cup final at one game apiece.

Hardy Häman Aktell scored twice and Ivan Miroshnichenko had a goal for the defending American Hockey League champion Bears, the Washington Capitals’ top farm team.

Last year in the final, Hershey beat the Firebirds 3-2 in overtime in Game 7 for its record 12th title.

Luke Henman and Marian Studenic scored for Coachella Valley and Chris Driedger stopped 16 shots. Firebirds coach Dan Bylsma is in his final games with the second-year team before taking over as coach of the parent Seattle Kraken.

The best-of-seven series shifts to the California desert for Games 3-5 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 will be back in Hershey on Monday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 6.

Huntington broke a tie with 6:59 left in second, and Dubé made it 3-1 with 3:18 to go.

Studenic pulled Coachella Valley to 3-2 just 17 seconds into the third, and Häman Aktell restored the two-goal margin with slap shot off a faceoff at 9:45. Häman Aktell added an empty-netter with 11 seconds to go.

Miroshnichenko opened the scoring at 5:51 of the first period. Henman tied it at 2:42 of the second.

AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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