HERSHEY, Pa. (HERSHEY BEARS) — The Hershey Bears (4-1) rallied from a 2-0 deficit and Henrik Borgstrom scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift Hershey past the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-2) in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Finals on Thursday night at GIANT Center.
Lauri Pajuniemi opened the scoring 6:55 into the contest with a power-play goal for the Wolf Pack, knocking in a Zac Jones rebound past Hunter Shepard to give Hartford the edge. Despite out-shooting Hartford 17-3 in the opening frame, it remained a 1-0 lead in favor of the visitors after the first.
The remaining 2:39 of the first period was delayed due to Hartford player Anton Blidh receiving medical attention for a non life-threatening upper body injury out of an abundance of caution; the first period was concluded following the first intermission, and Blidh would return to play.
The Wolf Pack converted again with the man advantage at 2:33 of the second period when Jonny Brodzinski buried a rebound from the left circle.
It appeared that the Bears had gotten on the board at 11:43 of the frame when Connor McMichael seemed to have beaten Dylan Garand with a chance from the goal mouth, but a subsequent video review overturned the call, keeping the deficit at two goals.
Logan Day got the Bears on the board with a power-play goal at 2:52, as the blueliner one-timed an Aliaksei Protas pass behind Garand for his first as a Bear, and his first goal since April 19, 2022 for Lehigh Valley at Providence.
With Hunter Shepard making his way to the bench for an extra skater, Connor McMichael deflected Jake Massie’s shot from the left point for his third of the postseason at 17:51, with Day earning a secondary assist.
Borgstrom clinched the game for Hershey at 4:41 of the first overtime, as he took a Garret Pilon pass and raced up the right flank with Joe Snively on a 2-on-1 before burying his first of the postseason in his first-ever game in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Shots finished 35-27 in favor of the Bears. Shepard went 25-for-27 in the win for the Bears; Garand went 32-for-35 in the loss for the Wolf Pack. Hershey was 1-for-4 on the power play while Hartford went 2-for-4.