Hershey Bears beat Coachella Valley Firebirds 3-2 in Game 4 to tie AHL’s Calder Cup final

black hockey puck on ice rink(Getty Images/iStockphoto/vencavolrab)

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Joe Snively broke a third-period tie on a power-play scramble and the defending champion Hershey Bears held off the Coachella Valley Firebirds 3-2 on Thursday night in Game 4 to tie the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup final.

After Ryker Evans tied it for Coachella Valley 32 seconds into the third, Snively beat goalie Chris Driedger at 4:21 to help the Bears hand the Firebirds their first home loss of the playoffs.

Game 5 is Saturday night in the California desert. The series then shifts back to Hershey for Game 6 on Monday night and, if necessary, Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Last season in the final, Hershey beat first-year Coachella Valley 3-2 in overtime in Game 7 for its record 12th title. Firebirds coach Dan Bylsma is in his final games with the second-year team before fully taking over as coach of the parent Seattle Kraken.

Ethen Frank and Hendrix Lapierre each had a goal and two assists for Hershey, the Washington Capitals’ top farm team. Hunter Shepard stopped 22 shots.

Shane Wright also scored for Coachella Valley. Driedger made 22 saves.

Frank opened the scoring with 1:23 left in the first period, beating Driedger with a sharp-angle shot on a rush.

Wright tied it at 9:40 of the second. He broke down left side, cutting in front of the goal and slipping a shot past Shepard.

Lapierre gave Hershey a 2-1 lead with two minutes left in the second period, beating Driedger from close range off a centering pass.

Evans drew the Firebirds even in the first minute of the third, firing a shot between Shepard’s legs from his knees after falling cutting through the slot.

On Tuesday night in Game 3, Max McCormick had a hat trick in the Firebirds’ 6-2 victory. The teams split the first two games in Hershey, with the Firebirds winning the opener 4-3 and the Bears taking the second 5-2.


AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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