Providence Bruins’ head coach, Rob Murray, was a member of the Springfield Falcons when the Hershey Bears began their comeback from their 2-0 series deficit on their way to the Calder Cup with a win on May 21, 1997.
Twelve years and a day later, Murray witnessed another Hershey revival, when the Bears bounced back in game three of the East Conference Finals from a 3-0 deficit to eventually win the game, 6-4, and take a 2-1 lead in the series against his team.
Bears’ net minder, Michal Neuvirth, picked up his 9th playoff win, despite a shaky beginning of the outing, giving up a soft goal on the first shot he faced, when he fumbled an innocent looking wrist shot from Zach Hamill at just 1:56.
The next goal was a power play goal from Bruins’ Jeff Penner, his second of the series at 15:32 of the 1st period, which finished out the scoring for the stanza.
Providence took a 3-0 lead when Peter Schaefer, assisted by Penner, penetrated Hershey’s penalty killing armor for the second time of the evening.
Just 25 seconds later, Bears’ forward, Alexandre Giroux, started his team’s climb back from the brink with his 7th goal of the playoffs.
Chris Bourque closed out the scoring in the second period, notching his 3rd goal of the playoffs at 9:05, making it a one-goal game.
Penner’s 4-on-3 power play goal 38 seconds into the 3rd period restored the Bruins’ two-goal lead.
Andrew Gordon and Giroux scored goals only 1:20 apart, to tie the game at four with just over 13 minutes to play.
Graham Mink, who had not scored in the previous six games, scored what would be the game-winner at 13:58. Mink’s goal was his second game winning goal of the playoffs.
Bryan Helmer tacked on a power play goal at 19:25 to seal the deal for the Chocolate and White.
The series continues on Sunday in Providence.
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