(WGR 550) – After having one of his worst games of the season in Game 1 of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals, Hershey Bears goaltender Hunter Shepard stole the show in Game 2, stopping all 24 Rochester Americans shots in a 2-0 win.
Rochester had some quality looks, but either shot wide or Shepard stoned them cold.
In the first period, Matt Savoie - playing in his first professional game - got open in front, but shot wide. Tyson Kozak was also alone right on the edge of the crease, but Shepard robbed him. Kulich got himself quickly up ice, but he couldn’t extend his point streak to eight games. He also was set up all alone in front by Lukas Rousek on a perfect blind, backhand pass, but Sherpard stoned him.
The loss broke Rochester’s seven-game winning streak.
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In the first period, both goalies made 10 saves, as Malcolm Subban had to be sharp on a 2-on-1 rush.
It was the second period where Hershey broke through.
I thought Subban did a great job as the Amerks were killing a penalty, fighting for his ice to see a shot. He was down on his knees, and Henrik Borgstrom just put it short-side over his shoulder. It’s a goal Subban should’ve had, but there have only been one or two of them in the whole playoffs.
On the second Hershey goal, it went short-side, but Subban had no chance. It didn’t look like defenseman Joe Cecconi realized he had totally screened his goalie.
Rochester’s power play has been deadly in the playoffs, but on this night, it was 0-for-2. Hershey went 1-for-3.
The third period was very tight, but in the few chances Rochester had, Michael Mersch sent in Cecconi alone in front, but Shepard made a huge save. There was one more play where three Amerks crashed the net with the puck, but Shepard somehow found a way to keep it out.
Rochester pulled Subban with 2:08 left, but the Bears kept them to the outside and they didn't threaten.
Savoie, who just turned 19 in January, skated well, but looked like he was feeling his way against smarter and faster players. He didn’t have any shots playing on a line with Brendan Warren and Kohen Olischefski.
Warren had the best chance, turning defenseman Vincent Iorio inside-out not once, but twice. He cut in with speed, but Shepard stayed right with him.
Rochester’s last loss came on the road, 2-0, to the Syracuse Crunch. The Amerks returned home in front of over 9,101 wild fans and blasted the Crunch, 8-5.
Game 3 on Saturday in Rochester is already a sellout, while Game 4 is scheduled for Memorial Day.