Hershey started out great, getting a late first period goal from Alexandre Giroux and an early third period tally from Mathieu Perreault. Manchester had shown little in the way of actual offense up to that point.
But it was funny. As soon as Hershey went up 2-0 people started getting confident. John Walton made a reference to Hershey being up 3-0 and the chat room on AHLLive seemed like the game was over.
Got to wonder if the Bears players started to feel that way too? It sure seemed like it.
From that point on Manchester controlled the play. With the exception of a late Bears power play in the third Hershey lacked any sort of real offense.
Although truthfully that seemed to be a problem all game as Hershey finished with just 25 shots. Manchester supposedly had 40 but most of those were poor shots from the outside and didn't cause much trouble.
I mentioned this Sunday and I will mention it again....what is Boyd Kane doing on the top line? That line was a non-factor last night and I personally believe it had more to do with the personnel than Manchester's D.
The newspaper mentioned something about putting some grit on the top line in place of Andrew Gordon. That's fine but is Boyd Kane truly the best option? I still think Pinizzotto would be the right fit as he is still contributing offensively this season. Kane has scored only 5 goals since the beginning of February while Pinner has 2 this series.
I don't know. I am not at practice or in the meetings so who knows how everyone feels about it. I also understand the desire to keep the remaining lines intact if possible but the top line is the most important offensively. Adding a guy like Kyle Wilson would be okay but he probably isn't going to go to the front of the net. Jay Beagle would be good but he is playing center elsewhere. Personally I would rather see Ashton Rome on the top line than Boyd Kane.
Don't get me wrong, Kane is a very good player. He had a tremendous season but right now Hershey NEEDS offense. You can't expect to beat Bernier and the Monarchs by scoring 2 goals, not with the way Neuvirth is playing in the third period so far.
Kane had 1 shot last night. 1. If you are playing on a line with Aucoin and Giroux you better produce more offense than that.
Everyone knew Manchester was going to come hungry to win last night. We knew that Hershey would have to give their best to go up 3-0. Unfortunately Hershey didn't give their best and Manchester came to win and they did.
Now the series is 2-1 and everything is different. Manchester now has some momentum. They have 2 more games in their building. Don't think for a second that they aren't good enough to be in this series. Don't think for a second that the Monarchs can't win the next 2 at home.
Hershey needs to show up more determined then ever tonight. Play like its game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals. Throw everything you have at the Monarchs and knock them down early. Because if this series goes to 2-2 tonight....all bets are off.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!