Andrew Gordon: One Win Away.

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Alexandre Giroux’s overtime goal has put the Hershey Bears ahead (3-2) of the Stars for the first time in the Calder Cup Finals series.  From his seat on the Bears charter jet, right wing Andrew Gordon sets the stage for the series’ completion in Hershey.  He discusses the vibe in the dressing room, disparities in travel between the NHL and AHL, and predicts some excellent hockey to come.

We finally arrive to the point in the season that we have been waiting for all along. After taking tonight’s game in Texas, we return home with a 3-2 series lead, and more importantly, a chance at the championship. They say the fourth win in a series is always the hardest one to get, but considering the battles we have just fought in games four and five, I don’t see how it could get much tougher. Both teams seem evenly matched through five games. One favorable bounce here or a tough call there has made all the difference, but a win is a win, and we have found a way to win three games in their building. Our confidence is high.

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Giant Center Game 5 Viewing Party Attracts 2,000+

The Boys of Disgraceland Make An Appearance at the Giant Center Party

Giant Center was rocking on Friday night. A crowd of 2,000+ came to GC to cheer on their beloved Bears and watch Game 5 on the big screen. By games end, it sounded more like 10,000. Thanks Alexandre Giroux.

Hershey will try and win the Calder Cup Monday in front of a crowd of nearly 11,000. Tickets for Game 6 sold out in a little under three hours.

Cumberland Valley High’s Class of 2010 Graduation Ceremony will have to wait.  The Bears are still playing.

Cumberland Valley High’s Class of 2010 Graduation Ceremony will have to wait. The Bears have some unfinished business to take care of.

Bears 2010 Playoff Stats

  • 8-2 at home
  • 8-2 scoring first goal
  • 7-3 allowing first goal
  • 11-2 when out shooting
  • 3-3 when out shot
  • 2-1 leading after 1
  • 3-1 leading after 2
  • (6-0 leading after 3) ;)
  • 7-1 Trailing after 1
  • 5-2 Trailing after 2
  • 6-3 tied after 1
  • 7-2 tied after 2
  • 9-4 one goal games
  • 2-0 two goal games
  • 8-1 overtime
  • And oh yeah, if the Bears are forced to play a Game 7, Hershey is 4-0 on Wednesdays.

aucoinshoots

Keith Aucoin shoots while Aaron Gagnon surely does nothing meriting a penalty. (Chris Knight / The Patriot-News)

You gotta give the Bears this: they know drama.  Despite the Hershey offense being well tuned and on-target all throughout game five, the visitors could not gain a lead over the Stars.  By the end of regulation, the Bears had notched 37 shots, but all but one were summarily blocked by the excellent Stars netminder Matt Climie.  It took nearly fifteen minutes of extra hockey for Alexander Giroux to finally defeat the Stars defense and create Hershey’s first game-lead of the series.  The Bears beat the Stars 2-1 in overtime to put the series at 3-2, Hershey.

Don’t be mistaken by the low score; this was a 70+ minute exhibition of superb hockey.   The refs all but abandoned the concept of adjudicating hockey.  The two teams traded off in puck domination and net aggression.  Players dove to block shots with astounding frequency, and no player seemed to forget this is the finals– even when exhausted.   Michal Neuvirth, without a doubt, deserves tonight’s MVP nod for having rebuffed the Stars on perhaps a dozen excellent scoring chances.   John Carlson and Kyle Wilson, too, deserve applause for their precise defensive and shot output respectively.

But it was Alexandre Giroux, all but silenced before this play, who stepped up in overtime to score the game-winner. Roo pounced on a loose puck and swatted it in with a tenacity and alacrity that Climie could not match.  After blocking 41 shots, Climie was finally defeated the goalie by Alex’s force of will.  As John Walton would say, “Good morning, good evening, good night!”

The Bears are probably airborne right now, headed home to Hershey for the final one or two games of the series.  The Chocolate and White now have two chances to win the Calder Cup, and they seem more determined to do so than ever.

Clear your social calendar for Monday, June 14.