When Chris Bourque’s father, the legendary Ray Bourque finally got his name of the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in his 21st professional season, the rallying call was “Mission 16W”. Their battle cry signified the exit on the New Jersey Turnpike where the Avs played three of the seven games against the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup.
On Monday evening in Providence, it was Chris Bourque’s shorthanded goal that propelled the Hershey Bears to their own “Mission 16”, as in 16 wins to claim their 10th Calder Cup Championship, in their 21st appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.
The Bears came out of the gates in the contest determined to get an early lead and not fall behind in the contest; however, despite two power play advantages and a huge shot advantage of 13-3, the Chocolate and White failed to register a first period goal for the fifth straight time on the road, and entered the first intermission in a scoreless deadlock.
Early in the second period, Andrew Gordon’s power play goal, his 5th strike of the post-season at 2:17, gave the Bears their first 1st or 2nd period lead on the road since their first road outing in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin series. The point that Bourque picked up for assisting on the goal made him the league leader in the assist category.
Brad Marchand’s power play goal, his 7th goal of the playoffs and 5th on the power play at 4:45, tied the game at a goal apiece. With the goal, Marchand also tied Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux for the league lead in power play goals.
Giroux, not wanting to share the stage with Marchand, picked up his 9th goal, his 6th with the man advantage, taking back sole ownership of the spotlight later in the period, giving the Bears a 2-1 lead to take to the 3rd period.
Mikko Lehtonen tied the game less than two minutes into the third period.
Providence, who had already struck on eight power plays throughout the series, looked poised to take a lead and extend the series when Dean Arsene was whistled off for two minutes at 5:30.
However, Bourque pounced upon the opportunity, and scored the Bears’ first short-handed goal of the season, giving the Bears a lead they would never relinquish.
Darren Reid and Quintin Laing (empty net) both tacked on goals to account for the final score of 5-2.