By a show of hands how many of you stopped listening after the Bruins went up 3-0? Well I paid $8 to see the game so I wasn't going to stop and I am glad I didn't.
I am still not sure that I actually saw what I saw. I would describe it as disbelief to a point...a kind of stunned feeling.
Down 3-0 three minutes into the second period and down 4-2 less then a minute into the third and the Bears did not give in. They put 4 pucks past Tuukka Rask in the THIRD PERIOD alone to win 6-4 in Providence.
I will be honest here...I was looking towards game 4 once the Bruins went up 3-0. Then Alexander Giroux scored his first of 2 goals and the Bears started playing again. 6 minutes later and it was 3-2 with over half the game to go.
Then another penalty call and yet another power play goal less then a minute into the game put the Bears down 4-2 and things looked bleak again. Little did anyone know at the time that Rask was going to lay an egg in the third period.
Give the Bears credit though...they never stopped playing and for the 3rd game in a row they dominated the Bruins late in the game. Not necessarily in shots as they only outshot the Bruins 12-8 in the third but more in effort and energy. You can see it in the way the teams are skating late in the game. The Bruins look tired while the Bears look like they just came out of the locker room to start the game.
Tonight the goalie looked tired too. To Rask's credit the defense definitely let him down and I would say 2 of the goals were just great plays and lucky bounces. But the other two, Giroux's second and Bryan Helmers goal with less then a minute to go, should have been stopped. Giroux deked Rask right out of the goal and Helmer just let one go from the point that just straight beat Rask.
I am thoroughly impressed in the way that Hershey stayed in this game. Going down 3-0 right after an intermission would destroy some teams energy but not this team. They kept going and were rewarded with a huge 6-4 victory and have at the very least guaranteed a return trip to Hershey if necessary.
Great game Bears....AWESOME effort!!
My Three Stars of the Game:
- Alexander Giroux - 2 goals, the first Hershey goal and the tying goal
- Jeff Penner - also 2 goals but it wasn't quite enough
- Bryan Helmer - 1 goal and an assist on the game winning goal by Mink
Grading the Performance:
- Offense - A - I had no problem with their performance tonight. Good passing, good shots, and solid puck movement. Possession in the offensive zone has been solid this entire series to date and tonight was no different. All 4 lines were solid and all 4 had their chances.
- Defense - B - Okay performance. John Carlson was scratched which kind of confused me a bit but unsure if there is an injury or something. I still think some guys need to learn how to watch the players in front of the goalie. Even late in the third 2 Bruins were standing wide open right in front and beside Michal Neuvirth.
- Goaltending - C - I honestly was not impressed by Neuvy's performance tonight. He made 24 saves but I think he should have had more. I am sure he is unhappy with his performance as well though.
- Power Play - B - Okay job tonight. They went 1 for 4 with that 1 being the last goal of the game. Good chances...good movement. Just didn't get the bounces.
- Penalty Kill - F - The Bears gave the Bruins 4 power plays and allowed goals on 3 of them. A terrible job from this unit. I am not going to say it was any one players fault but Joudrey was on the ice for all 3 and Pinner was out there for 2. Again...NOT saying it was their fault but something doesn't seem to be clicking for this unit in this series.
- Overall - B - A GREAT job tonight to pick up the pieces by the offense. On a night when the defense and goaltending wasn't excellent the offense took the team on their shoulders and won this game. 2 wins away from a finals appearance with 4 games to go in the series.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!