Bears drop Game 6

Connor McMichael, Hershey Bears
Connor McMichael, Hershey Bears /

The Hershey Bears fell to the Coachella Valley Firebirds 5-2 on the road in Game 6 which will make the Calder Cup Finals require a winner take all Game 7 on Wednesday night.

The Bears will have to do something they haven’t done all series if they want to hoist an AHL record 12th Calder Cup in franchise history: win a game at Acrisure Arena.

So far this series the home team has won each game. The Bears dropped the first two games on the road before proceeding to win three straight on home ice.

The Bears opened up the scoring early in the first period thanks to Connor McMichael off a pass from Joe Snively at 1:33 for his fifth of the postseason. It gave the Bears their first road goal of the finals. Lucas Johansen added the secondary assist.

Coachella Valley tied it with a goal from their captain Max McCormick with a power play goal at 10:10. It broke a 93:10 minute shutout streak where Hershey goaltender Hunter Shepard didn’t allow a goal. It dated back to Game 4.

At 12:01 the Firebirds took a 2-1 lead with a goal from John Hayden. They scored again at 16:52 with a goal from Cameron Hughes.

Early in the second period Beck Malenstyn pulled the Bears to within a goal at 3:28 for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Riley Sutter and Logan Day had the assists. That was the closest the Bears would get.

The Firebirds extended their lead back to two goals at 11:50 with a power play goal from Kole Lind. Lind added another one at 3:57 of the third period.

The Bears would pull Shepard after that in favor of Zach Fucale in net. They pulled Fucale for an extra attacker with just over five minutes left but the Bears were unable to chip away at the deficit.

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Game 7 is Wednesday night at 10 p.m. eastern on NBC Sports Washington and NHL Network.