HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Mason Morelli enjoyed a two-point night and the Hershey Bears (5-1) picked up a 4-2 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-3) in Game 2 of the Atlantic Division Finals on Saturday night at GIANT Center. Hershey leads the best-of-five series, 2-0.
The Bears opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:12 of the first period when Joe Snively carried the puck into the offensive zone, and as the forward drew the Hartford defenders to him, the forward flipped a pass to his left for Morelli, who deked and slipped the puck through the pads of Dylan Garand for his third of the postseason.
The Wolf Pack converted for a power-play goal at 11:32 when Will Cuylle received a pass in the slot from behind the net and beat Hunter Shepard to the blocker side.
Hershey took a 2-1 lead at 12:44 when Vincent Iorio banked the puck up along the left boards in the defensive zone ahead to Morelli who broke in for a 2-on-1 with Beck Malenstyn. Morelli sent a pass to the open Malenstyn, who beat Garand’s blocker for his second of the playoffs.
Mike Vecchione extended Hershey’s lead to two goals when Henrik Borgstrom threaded a pass to Vecchione from behind the net of Garand, and the alternate captain buried his second of the playoffs from the slot at 8:48. Ethen Frank collected a secondary assist.
In the third, Hendrix Lapierre pushed the lead to 4-1 when Aliaksei Protas chipped the puck up the left side to the rookie, who sped in on a 2-on-1 and beat Garand for his second of the postseason at 13:14, with Logan Day earning a secondary assist.
The Wolf Pack stopped Hershey’s scoring run with a goal from Adam Clendenning at 15:09 after pulling Garand for an extra skater.
Hartford continued to press, before eventually icing the puck with less than 11 seconds remaining in regulation, forcing Garand back to his crease as the Bears held on for the win.
Shots finished 30-27 in favor of the Bears. Shepard went 25-for-27 in the win for the Bears; Garand went 26-for-30 in the loss for the Wolf Pack. Hershey was 1-for-2 on the power play while Hartford also went 1-for-2.