Even a hungry bear sometimes gets tired of the home cooking, and embarks on a road trip for a meal. On Friday night, the Hershey Bears, who failed to capture the Calder Cup on Tuesday night in their own den, the Giant Center, captured their league record 10th championship, feasting on the Manitoba Moose at MTS Centre, 4-1.
Hershey wasted little time taking the sellout crowd out of the game, getting an early goal from Andrew Gordon at 3:56 to take a 1-0 lead. Kyle Wilson and Chris Bourque provided the helper on the Gordon goal, his 6th of the playoffs.
Less than three minutes after the Gordon goal, Wilson also played playmaker on a goal by Bourque at 6:10, forcing a turnover that Bourque converted into his 5th goal of the post-season to give Hershey a 2-0 lead.
Alexandre Giroux, the AHL’s leading goal scorer and point producer in both the regular season and post-season, made it 3-0 at 11:16 of the 1st period, banking a shot off of the skate of Manitoba netminder, Cory Schneider, after a nifty deke.
Manitoba meandered back into the game midway through the 2nd period when Mario Bliznak beat Michal Neuvirth with a wrist shot from between the faceoff circles during a delayed penalty to Hershey captain, Bryan Helmer, to make it 3-1, Hershey.
Keith Aucoin, the league leader in assists during the playoffs, sealed the deal for the Chocolate and White, netting an empty net goal with only 21 seconds left in the game.
Neuvirth, who finished with 24 saves on the night to secure his 16th triumph of the playoffs, was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs after the game.