Hershey Advances To The AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals

Mathieu Perreault praises God after scoring the game winning goal in OT. (Photo by The Patriot-News)

Mathieu Perreault praises God after scoring the game winning goal in OT. (Photo by The Patriot-News)

Tonight, the Hershey Bears rallied to win 5-4 in OT and swept the Albany River Rats in their second round series four games to none. With the thrilling victory, the Bears now advance to the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in five years! HERSHEY RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS!

Left Wing Chris Bourque accumulated a third of his 15 total points in the playoffs tonight, as he scored or assisted on every Bears goal. He finished the game with 2 goals, 3 assists and 5 points. Bourque scored at 8:23 in the first period and then again 59 seconds into the second frame. However, the River Rats answered each of Bourque’s talleys with two goals of their own, and entered the third with a commanding 4-2 lead.

But the Bears battled back, just like they have all year long. Alexandre Giroux cut the Albany lead to one with just over three minutes left in regulation and then Mathieu Perreault took over. The Washington Capitals’ fan favorite scored the tying goal to force overtime, and then after only 2:23 into the extra period, the 22-year-old Quebecois ended the River Rats season and its franchise existence (Albany will relocate to Charlotte, North Carolina next year, becoming the Charlotte Checkers) with the biggest goal of his young career. The Bears win 5-4. Time to party!

Due to the frantic schedule of AHL PLayoffs, Hershey will have to wait a week to find out their opponent from the Worcester-Manchester series but they’ll be ready. John Carlson and Karl Alzner, the future #1 defensive pairing of the Washington Capitals, returned to the Bears before the game and combined to have 6 shots and an assist.