We are right back where we started. Series tied. Bears have home ice.
The only differences now are...it's a 3 game series and game 1 is in Texas. Oh and Texas is questioning their game a bit now while Hershey has found theirs.
Let's look back at last nights game for a second though...
French kept the lines the same and it worked again. Not quite as well as Monday night but 4 goals is still better than what they were doing. In addition to Bourque and Giroux still switched French also inserted Cody Eakin into the lineup. My only problems with that move were that it was for Ashton Rome and that Eakin disappeared from the ice after the 2nd period. But it worked out for the Bears.
The power play was great for the first time in a long time. 3 goals on 5 chances will stymie any defense and it definitely happened to the Stars last night. Texas is now the team taking questionable penalties and it cost them last night.
Much of last nights game was pretty even I thought. Hershey got on the board first, Texas answered with 2 goals before Beagle tied it up late in the second period. Then a too many men on the ice call gave Hershey a power play with less then 3 minutes to play in regulation. Hershey didn't squander the opportunity. John Carlson scored his first goal of the playoffs to give Hershey the win.
But not everything Hershey did was good...
Too many bad penalties still. What the hell was Amadio thinking on the interference call in front of Neuvy in the 2nd? I was watching on AHL Live and there wasn't a replay but Walton and Gregg Mace sure agreed with the call.
The too many men on the ice call almost cost them dearly but they overcame that thanks to bad Texas penalties. Pinizzotto took another useless penalty early in the game as well.
Overall it was better but still not perfect. If the Bears could manage to not take one bad penalty in a game they would likely win 4-1 against Texas. But that seems to be to difficult at this point.
The only other thing that seems to be hurting the Bears is the defensemen jumping up too much. This has been less of a problem in the last 2 games but guys are still getting caught. Last night I saw Amadio, Helmer, McNeill, and Carlson all get caught up ice at least once. Carlson does it multiple times a game and it cost him in game 3 but usually he can get back.
I like their aggressiveness and many of the goals are the result of guys keeping the puck in the zone but if you are going to make the play you better not miss. And Hershey blueliners miss a little too much.
It is like a good cornerback in the NFL...if he goes for the pick when the receiver runs the 10 yard out pattern he better at least get part of the ball. Because if he doesn't....the other team is dancing in the endzone.
Calculated risks. It is good to take them some times but you have to be careful. Now that we are down to a first team to 2 wins series a play like that can cost you the Cup.
Now a brief not about game 5. Hershey's fans are expecting a win. The Giant Center sold out of tickets for game 6 in less than 5 hours!! Why...because people are hoping (expecting) to see the Bears clinch the Cup on Monday night.
But don't count your chickens before they hatch. Hershey is back in control of this series and Texas has found themselves again backed into a corner. This has to be considered a must win for the Stars. Sure they won the first 2 in Hershey but the odds of them winning games 6 and 7 in Hershey are slim.
So Texas will give Hershey everything they have in game 5. And let's be honest...the last 2 games weren't nearly as important for them. Texas didn't HAVE to have those wins....Hershey did. But now Hershey doesn't HAVE to have game 5...Texas does.
Hershey needs to be ready for everything in game 5. Texas is going to push for some goals which could turn into some odd man rushes for the Bears but I have seen possible odd man rushes turn into defensive zone turnovers by Hershey this series...too many of those will see Hershey returning home having to win 2 for the cup.
The Bears have to be on their best behavior (Pinner that is for you) and they have to be cautious with their passes. Not to the point that they don't push the limit but make sure you are ready if it doesn't work.
I think they will be okay!
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!