Hershey Bears advance to 2024 Atlantic Division Finals

While the big boys got knocked out in the postseason, the young bucks in the Capitals pipeline are still playing
Mike Vecchione, Hershey Bears
Mike Vecchione, Hershey Bears / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Hershey Bears have survived and advanced to the next round of the Calder Cup playoffs. After taking the first two games of the series over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Caps affilate dropped Game 3 by a 2-0 count.

The Washington Capitals then re-assigned forward Alexander Suzdalev to the Bears. Per the team, the 20 year old begun the season up in Hershey before being loaned to Mora IK of Hockey Allsvenskan in the Sweden 2 league, recordiing three points in 13 games with two goals and one assisst.

Suzdalev then joined the WHL's Saskatoon Blades recording 25 points in 30 games with nine goals and 16 assists. In 16 WHL playoff games with the Blades, he recorded 13 points with four goals and nine assists.

Now to the game action over in Lehigh Valley, the Bears would come away with 5-3 win at PPL Center. The Phantoms struck first at 9:01 as Rhett Gardner batted in a rebound off the pads of Hunter Shepard.

The Bears answered 17 seconds later. Chase Priskie racketed the puck off the boards to Ivan Miroshnichenko for the prospect's first goal of the Calder Cup playoffs. The Phantoms went ahead 2-1 at the 12:18 mark.

The Bears would tie it at 15:08 with a goal from Pierrick Dube as Logan Day and Hardy Haman Aktell assisted. Miroshnichenko struck again in the early second period to give Hershey their first lead of the night. That came at 2:36.

Ethen Frank put the Bears up 4-2 with a power play goal from the Alex Ovechkin office at 10:57 in he second. Joe Snively and Hendrix Lapierre had the assists there.

Hardy Haman Aktell gave the Bears some much needed insurance at 14:52 in the third period after a rush attempt between Miroshnichenko and Mike Vecchione.

The shots finished 32-27 in favor of the Phantoms while Shepard went 29 for 32 for his third win of the playoffs. Hershey went one for four on the power play while the Phantoms went 0 for 2.

Bears will next take the ice in Game 1 of the best of five Atlantic Division Finals against the Hartford Wolf Pack this Thursday May 16 at Giant Center. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.

If you wish to attend, fans are encouraged to buy tickets via Ticketmaster.