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 Hershey Bears

Bears Open Calder Cup Finals with 4-3 Loss to Firebirds

June 14, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears (10-5) took an early lead but the Coachella Valley Firebirds (11-2) scored twice in each of the first two periods to ultimately deal Hershey a 4-3 loss in Game 1 of the 2024 Calder Cup Finals in front of a crowd of 10,154 on Friday night at GIANT Center.

Joe Snively opened the scoring for Hershey just 1:15 into the opening frame when his centering feed on a rush with Ethen Frank and Hendrix Lapierre caromed off a Coachella Valley player's skate and past Chris Driedger for Snively's third of the playoffs.

Coachella Valley leveled the score with a shorthanded breakaway from John Hayden at 6:34.

The Firebirds took a 2-1 lead at 13:52 with a goal from Ryan Winterton.

In the second, Winterton struck again at 9:49 to put the visitors ahead 3-1.

Hardy Häman Aktell pulled Hershey back to within a goal at 12:51, with assists to Jimmy Huntington and Riley Sutter, but Coachella Valley quickly responded with a goal from Hayden at 15:11 when the Firebirds capitalized on a lengthy shift in the Hershey end to make it 4-2.

With the Bears on a power play and Hunter Shepard pulled for an extra attacker late in the third, Lapierre pulled Hershey back to within a goal when Snively found Lapierre at the right circle at 18:04 for his fifth of the playoffs; Pierrick Dubé earned a secondary assist.

Shots finished 23-19 in favor of the Firebirds. Shepard went 19-for-23 in the loss for Hershey; Driedger went 16-for-19 in the win for Coachella Valley. The Bears went 1-for-5 on the power play; the Firebirds went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Bears continue the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs when they host the Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals on Sunday, June 16, at 5 p.m. at GIANT Center.

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