Then Wilkes-Barre came out and dominated the first period and the Bears found themselves trying to come from behind.
Saturday morning I was still confident that Hershey could earn a split in Wilkes-Barre (which is all I expected from the start), but definitely less confident than I was on Friday.
And then I turned the game on and listened as the game went to 3-0 about 12 minutes into the first period. I turned off the internet broadcast at that point so I didn't hear the 4th goal...or the 5th, 6th, or 7th either.
So far the Bears have scored 3 goals to the Pens 10. Call me crazy, but I don't think the Bears will get it done with numbers like that.
This morning, I am even less confident in the Bears ability to win this series as I was Saturday morning. I would imagine there are many of you that feel the same way.
And I am not going to lie to you...there aren't many positives to take away from the two games in Wilkes-Barre.
Special teams...the Bears are 0-7 on the power play while the Pens are 4-11. That's a 36.4% conversion rate for anyone keeping track at home.
Shots...Hershey has managed 36 shots...total. The Pens have a much more normal 56 in two games.
Goals...we already talked about that.
Honestly, there are only 2 positives or maybe more accurately, 2 possible bright spots for the Bears as they head into game 3.
One...things can't get any worse. Hershey has sustained little offense and hasn't been able to slow down the Pens at all.
Two...the Caps are headed to a game 7. Should they lose on Wednesday and the Bears win then Hershey would likely see reinforcements for game 4 on Friday.
But the Bears have to win game 3 first. And they aren't alone. 6 of the AHL's first round series have started off 2-0. Two of those series have played their 3rd game with Connecticut winning and sweeping Bridgeport out of the playoffs and Houston pulling out a game 3 win to make their series 2-1 with two to play.
Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Cody Eakin and Jacob Micflikier hadn't played in weeks and Dany Sabourin hadn't played in a while either. Consider too that numerous Bears, including Chris Bourque and Ryan Potulny, had at least taken a maintenance day within the week to rest.
Some Bears were rusty while others were banged up. Had this been during the regular season we likely would have written it off as a couple games to get their legs back.
Maybe when the Bears come out on Wednesday they will be healthier and more ready to play. The players that haven't played have no gotten two games under their belt and will likely have a few more practices coming up. For those Bears who have been banged up, they now have a few days to rest up before the next game.
Can the Bears do it? Can they come out on Wednesday with a renewed energy and focus? Can they extend the series and put some doubt in the minds of Pens players?
I think they can. One game at a time. Win on Wednesday. That's it...nothing else to consider.
Come on out on Wednesday and cheer on the Bears. There will surely be plenty of Pens fans in attendance so let's make sure they are seen and not heard.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!