Monday, 14 June 2010

With Authority!

The most dominant team in the AHL stands atop the pile once again after the dust has settled. The Hershey Bears are your 2010 AHL Calder Cup Champions, pulling off a repeat after dispatching the Texas Stars by a 4-0 score in Game Six tonight. After capturing the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's best team in the regular season, the Bears can add an eleventh Calder Cup banner to the rafters next season with their win. Unlike their NHL affiliate, the Bears showed that they can duplicate their regular season success in the playoffs.

Not only did the Bears come to play tonight, they won the game in the most unlikely of ways. First, Michal Neuvirth won his second-straight Calder Cup in leading the Bears to a 22-save shutout of the Stars. Secondly, all four goals in Hershey's clinching 4-0 win came from defencemen!

Hershey's first goal came from highly-touted blueliner John Carlson. His second goal of the playoffs at 12:29 of the first period came on the powerplay, and the Bears were off and running.

Hershey doubled its lead when another star blueliner in Karl Alzner notched his third goal of the playoffs. Alzner's goal came at 14:23 of the first period, and the Bears led 2-0. Texas hung in through a one-sided first period, though, with goaltender Brent Krahn stopping 16 of the 17 shots fired his way in the opening frame. Texas, on the other hand, recorded just four shots on Michal Neuvirth. Needless to say, it appeared Hershey was out for a mauling on this night.

Patrick McNeill made it a three-goal advantage for the home team with his second goal of the playoffs at 14:47 of the second period. Again, the ice appeared to be slanted as Hershey outshot Texas by a 12-8 margin in this period, and led 29-12 after two periods. More importantly, they had a 3-0 lead with just twenty minutes to play and the Calder Cup in the house.

McNeill capped off a wonderful evening of hockey in Hershey, Pennsylvania with his third goal, and second of the game, on the powerplay at 14:52 of the third period. That goal basically iced the game for Hershey, and guaranteed them a repeat of their championship season! As time ticked down, Texas desperately tried to break the goose egg, but it wasn't to be as Michal Neuvirth stood tall.

With the win tonight, the Bears set a number of historic marks. Hershey picks up their second-straight championship, and third in the last five years. They became the first team to win the Calder Cup after losing the first two games of the Calder Cup Final on home ice. They won eight overtime games in the 2010 AHL postseason, another AHL record.

Much to the chagrin of Penguins fans, Chris Bourque won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the AHL Calder Cup MVP. The Boston, Massachusetts native scored seven goals and added twenty assists to lead the AHL in playoff scoring. Bourque has won three Calder Cup Championships with the Bears, and has appeared in four AHL Calder Cup Finals since turning pro five seasons ago.

Congratulations to the Hershey Bears, the 2010 AHL Calder Cup Champions!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Hockey Wall Decals said...

I did not know they were the 2010 AHL Calder Cup Champions! They really play a good fight!