Hershey Bears win the Calder Cup, Beating Coachella Valley 3-2 in OT
PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Michael Vecchione scored off a rebound at 16:19 of overtime to give the Hershey Bears their 12th American Hockey League title, 3-2 over the expansion Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game 7 of the Calder Cup final Wednesday night.
Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre scored for Hershey in the second period as the Washington Capitals’ top affiliate overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie it. Hunter Shepard made 45 saves for the Bears.
Hershey coach Todd Nelson won his second Calder Cup after guiding Grand Rapids to the 2017 title. He joined Bun Cook and John Paddock as the only head coaches to win Calder Cups with two teams.
Defenseman Ryker Evans and captain Max McCormick scored for Coachella Valley and Joey Daccord made 35 saves. Seattle's top farm club, the Firebirds were the first to reach the final in their first season since the 2010 Texas Stars.
Evans opened the scoring at 4:41 of the first period, beating Shepard with a wrist shot off Andrew Poturalski's pass from behind the goal.
McCormick made it 2-0 24 seconds into the second taking a cross-ice feed from Kole Lind and beating Shepard through the legs from close range for his 14th goal of the playoffs. Evans also assisted.
With McCormick off for tripping, Hershey cut it to 2-1 on a power play on McMichael's goal with 6:08 left in the second. Mason Morelli got the puck across the crease for McMichael to jam in. Lapierre tied it with 2:51 remaining in the period, tipping Vincent Iorio's long shot past Daccord.