AMERKS BLANKED BY BEARS IN GAME 2 OF CONFERENCE FINALS
Rochester’s seven-game postseason win streak snapped in 2-0 loss to HersheyMay 25, 2023
The Rochester Americans (7-3) were unable to solve goaltender Hunter Shepard and the Hershey Bears (7-2) in suffering a 2-0 loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night at GIANT Center.
GAME SUMMARY PHOTO GALLERY POST-GAME REPORT
Despite dropping its first game since Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals, Rochester, which entered the night having won seven straight, split the first two contests of the series with the Bears. Dating back to March 18 against Hershey, the club shows a 15-5-3-1 mark, which includes a 7-3 record in the playoffs.
All but four Rochester skaters had at least one shot on goal while Joseph Cecconi and Jiri Kulich each paced the club with four shots each. Matt Savoie, who joined the club earlier in the week after being reassigned by the Buffalo Sabres, became the eighth different rookie to appear in a playoff game with the Amerks this spring and second to make his professional debut.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (7-3) stopped 19 of 21 shots he faced in his 10th straight appearance of the playoffs. The Toronto, Ontario, came into the matchup having won his last seven straight starts.
Hershey’s Mason Morelli registered his second two-point outing in his last four games as he tallied a pair of assists while Henrik Borgstrom and Beck Malenstyn scored their second and third goals of the playoffs, respectively.
Hunter Shepard (6-2) recorded his first playoff shutout as he made 24 saves in his ninth start of the postseason.
After a scoreless first period where the teams each recorded 10 shots, Rochester was called for a pair of penalties in the middle frame.
The Amerks were able to successfully clear off the first, but Hershey capitalized on its second man-advantage.
Just 23 seconds after a trip, the Bears cycled the puck to the left of Subban before Borgstorm picked the corner with a long rage shot from the top of the left circle to make it a 1-0 score at the 16:05 mark.
Connor McMichael and Morelli were credited with the helpers.
During the final minute of the stanza, Hershey doubled its lead when Malenstyn blasted a shot from inside the left face-off dot.
During the third period, Rochester attempted to spoil Shepard’s bid for a shutout, but the netminder turned aside all seven shots he faced to keep the 2-0 score intact and even the series for Hershey.
The best-of-seven series shifts bach to Rochester for a pair of contests beginning with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bears at The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, May 27. Opening puck-drop is set for 7:05 p.m. and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHL TV.
Tonight was the 500th all-time meeting (regular season + playoffs) between the American Hockey League's cornerstone franchises … The Amerks are now 6-2 in the second game of a playoff series against Hershey dating back to Game 2 of the 1965 Calder Cup Finals … The Amerks show a 15-4 record all-time in the Flower City against the Bears ahead of the series shifting to Rochester.
HER: H. Borgstrom (2), B. Malenstyn (3)
ROC: M. Subban – 19/21 (L)
HER: H. Shepard – 24/24 (W)
ROC: PP 0/2) | PK (2/3)
HER: PP (1/3) | PK (2/2)
1. HER - H. Shepard
2. HER - B. Malenstyn
3. HER - M. Morelli