HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – The Hershey Bears were unable to seal the deal and secure a spot in the Calder Cup finals on Wednesday night, falling to the Rochester Americans 4-1.
“It’s hard to beat a team four times in a row,” said Hershey head coach Todd Nelson.
The Bears’ lone goal came in the third from Aliaksei Portas with his fifth of the playoffs on a Hershey power play.
“We just needed to take care of our chances,” said Portas. “Simple as that.”
Jiri Kulich opened scoring for the Americans early, shooting it under the right leg of Hunter Shepard to give Rochester the lead. The Americans extended their lead 2-0 in the third with a goal from Lukas Rousek.
The second period was quiet for the buzzer, but not without drama. Rochester and Hershey both received a penalty, leading to four-on-four hockey. The Americans received another penalty to move the Bears advantage to four on three. However, the Bears were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
The Bears weren’t without chances, the shots ending 33-27 in their favor, but they could only get past Malcolm Subban once. Subban posted 32 saves to rescue his team from elimination.
“I just told the guys, I said take your ten to 15 minutes with this loss and think about things that you can do better next game,” Nelson said.
Michael Mersch added the third goal for the Americans on the power play and Lukas Rousek ended the showing with an empty net goal.
Hunter Shepard was 23 for 26 in the loss.
“It’s kind of frustrating we’re not good at home,” Portas said. “fans deserve it. So now we got to go on the road and just play a little better there because I don’t think it was good enough today to win.”
The Bear’s Game 5 winning streak of six came to an end on Wednesday, decreasing their series lead to 3-2 and moving the series back to New York for Game 6. The next game of the series will take place on June 2 where the two oldest AHL teams will face off again for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.