(Hershey, PA – May 8, 2019)– The Hershey Bears bid for their 12th Calder Cup in franchise history came to an end in a 5-2 loss to the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday night at Giant Center. The Checkers completed a four game sweep in the Atlantic Division Finals for Hershey’s first time swept since the 2016 Calder Cup Finals.
Charlotte tallied four unanswered goals and jumped out to 4-0 advantage. At 14:25 of the first period, Aleksi Saarela scored his first of three goals on the night after finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play setup by Trevor Carrick and Morgan Geekie. The Checkers were granted a late first period power play which carried over into the next period, and Julien Gauthier doubled his team’s lead at :57. Saarela scored his second of the night at 14:22 to provide his club a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes. Shots after two periods were 19-10 Charlotte.
Tomas Jurco made the score 4-0 on the Checkers second power play goal of the night at 3:01 of the third period. Hershey’s penalty kill finished the night 1-for-3. Jayson Megna put the Bears on the board at the 5:37 mark of the third period on his second power play goal, and fourth tally of the postseason. Shane Gersich cut the Bears deficit to 4-2 at 14:44 before Saarela completed the hat-trick with an empty net goal at 18:23. Final shots on goal were 23-18 Charlotte.