Well so much for not facing any adversity!
Thanks to a sloppy sluggish first period the Bears had to come from 2 goals down to win in overtime to take a 1 game to none lead in the best of 7 series.
Hershey managed to get outshot 9-3 in the first period and faced a 2-0 deficit by the time the period ended. But they managed to get one back 5 minutes into the second period thanks to Alexandre Giroux's first of the playoffs before yet again facing a 2 goal deficit after allowing a last second goal in the 2nd period.
Thats when the fun began. For 20 minutes in the 3rd period Hershey threw everything they could at Scott Munroe and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. But for the first 14 nothing would go in. Then Francois Bouchard broke the ice and got the Bears within 1 at 3-2.
From then on the Bears really controlled the play and with about one minute to go they got a break. Mathieu Perreault scored the tying goal even though it appeared he hit the puck with a high stick. After some brief discussion the officials determined that the goal was good and the game was tied.
Perry's goal came with the goalie pulled and an ambitious lineup on the ice. 6 forwards took to the ice for the restart, Giroux, Perry, Bouch, Keith Aucoin, Andrew Gordon, and Chris Bourque.
That is called...going for it!
And then to overtime where the Bears 'unsung' hero became THE hero as Andrew Joudrey scored only his 2nd career playoff goal about 4 minutes into sudden death.
What a game, what a comeback, what a statement.
Recently I said that Bridgeport scared me due to them getting help from the New York Islanders in the way of blueline players. And for most of the game tonight it appeared as though the Sound Tigers defense might just win the game. Eventually though the talented (and deep) Hershey team made the most of their chances.
Hershey was lucky to get out of this game with a W but they should absolutely be ready for game 2 on Friday night.
After a long hibernation it would appear as though the Sound Tigers have awoken the Bears!