They worked...for the 1st period. So in theory I was partially wrong.
Hershey jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the 1st period. Then they almost lost it. The final score was 3-2 and it was every bit of close as that during the 3rd period.
I didn't watch the game (I can't justify spending $10 a game on AHLlive.com to see the games) but I did listen to it. And Walton (and the Bears) had me on the edge of my seat throughout the 3rd period.
With Kyle Greentree in the penalty box and Charlotte goalie, Mike Murphy pulled at the end of the 3rd the Checkers had a 6 on 4 power play and I was stressing.
But Braden Holtby made the saves when they mattered and Hershey started the 3 game road portion of the series stealing one.
The first goal of the game was a fluke as the puck jumped off Francois Bouchard from behind the net, bounced off Murphy, and went in.
Now both teams have a fluke goal and a shorthanded goal this series as Charlotte got both of those in game 1.
After the 1st period, which also saw goals from Keith Aucoin (assisted by Steve Pinizzotto) and Greentree, the Bears struggled to really get anything going. Rarely did I get the feeling, from listening to Walton, that Hershey was close to scoring. There were a couple exceptions but I would say, based on the information, that Charlotte dominated the play throughout the 2nd and 3rd periods.
That stats mostly support that too. The Checkers only outshot the Bears 18-12 in the last 2 periods but they outscored them 2-0.
In the end Hershey had just enough as they clung to the 3-2 lead and escaped game 3 with the series lead.
Game 4 is tonight and I am sure you will see the same line combinations as last night but I still contend that they should be changed. Yes the Bears scored 3 in the first but they didn't come close after that.
I know that Pinner is a very good player. I actually think he has more offensive potential then he has shown up to this point. BUT I think Willsie would be better served on the top line at this moment as he is the better pure scorer of the two.
I could see Pinner dropping into Willsie's spot on the 2nd line. That would work. He would be paired with a playmaking center and a player that likes to shoot. He could park himself in front of the net and wait for the pass or rebound.
But as long as they keep winning...who cares what the line combinations are.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!
2 DOWN...2 TO GO!!!!