Hershey playoff update: Bears lead Worcester Sharks 2-0 in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 3 - Wed. Apr. 29 at Hershey 7:00 pm
Game 4 (if necessary) - Fri. May 1 at Hershey 7:00 pm
Game 5 (if necessary) - Sun. May 3 at Hershey 5:00 pm
The Hershey Bears started their playoff quest last week against the Worcester Sharks and they did so without their starting goalie. Philipp Grubauer was recalled by the Washington Capitals on April 16 leaving Pheonix Copley to take the reins in net.
Despite the change, the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series with two roads wins in Worcester. A five-minute major against the Sharks was the turning point in Game 1 as Hershey scored three times on the power play en route to the 4-1 win. In Game 2, all four goals came in the second period with the Bears earning the 3-1 victory.
Hershey has really spread around the scoring with all seven goals scored by different players. Three players leas the team with two points apiece.
The real star in the first two games, however, was Copley. Thrust into the starting role by Grubauer’s recall, Copley turned aside 74 out of 76 shots, allowing only two goals for a save percentage of .974. With Tuesday's news that Grubauer had been re-assigned to Hershey, who will head coach Troy Mann turn to in net? Does he stay with the hot hand or turn back to the goalie who has been his top netminder for the entire season?
Captain Steve Oleksy remains day to day with an upper body injury he suffered in Game 1. The hit that gave the Bears their five-minute power play also sent Oleksy to the training room and he has not returned to the lineup since.
As the series shifts to Hershey for the remaining three games, the Bears sit just one win away of advancing.
Other prospect notes:
Two Caps prospects faceoff in the WHL playoffs as Madison Bowey’s Kelowna Rockets and Blake Heinrich’s Portland Winterhawks are locked in a battle for the Western Conference Finals.
After breezing through the first two rounds with only one loss, Kelowna is down 2-1 in the series and very easily could be down 3-0 if not for a shorthanded goal by Bowey in Game 1 that sparked a comeback.
Bowey has one goal and one assist in the series, adding to his 14 postseason points. Heinrich, as a stay at home defenseman, has not yet registered a point in the series.
StarsandSticks.com goes in depth on Caps prospect Brian Pinho who recently won a national championship with Providence College. Looks like there’s a lot of upside for the young forward who just wrapped up his freshman season.
MORE CAPITALS: Rangers take subtle jab at Caps on Twitter