The Hershey Bears have their opponent in the Atlantic Division Final.
The Bears will play the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate, in the third round after Hartford upset the Eastern Conference’s best team, the Providence Bruins.
Hartford eliminated Providence on Friday night with their 4-0 win in Game Four.
The Wolf Pack and Bears will play in another best-of-five series (the Conference Final and Calder Cup Final are best-of-sevens). The second-seeded Bears will have home-ice advantage over the sixth-seeded Wolf Pack in the series. The series will start in Hershey for Games One and Two on Thursday and Saturday. The Bears will also host Game Five, if necessary.
Hershey vs. Hartford series schedule
Game 1 – Thursday, May 11 vs. Hartford, GIANT Center, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Saturday, May 13 vs. Hartford, GIANT Center, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 17 at Hartford, XL Center, 7 p.m.
*Game 4 – Friday, May 19 at Hartford, XL Center, 7 p.m.
*Game 5 – Tuesday, May 23 vs. Hartford, GIANT Center, 7 p.m.
*If Necessary. All times are Eastern.
The Bears won four of six games against the Hartford Wolf Pack this season, outscoring them 15 to 11. Over the last five years, Hershey is 15-7-0-2 against them.
Hershey’s results against Hartford 2022-23 regular season
Hartford 1 @ Hershey 2 (Feb 11 2023) Final
Hershey 1 @ Hartford 0 (Nov 26 2022) Final SO
Hershey 2 @ Hartford 1 (Nov 25 2022) Final
Hartford 4 @ Hershey 2 (Nov 20 2022) Final
Hartford 1 @ Hershey 6 (Nov 19 2022) Final
Hershey 2 @ Hartford 4 (Oct 28 2022) Fina
But Hartford is a different team than the Bears saw in the regular season. The team added Anton Blihd, Will Lockwood, and Adam Clendening to the roster. The Rangers also sent forwards Jonny Brodzinski and Jake Leschyshyn; defenseman Libor Hájek; and goaltender Louis Domingue back to the team after being eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the first round.
Brodzinski is Hartford’s leading point-getter tallying 48 points in 47 games (21g, 27a). The native of Ham Lake, Minnesota, was also named the AHL’s ‘Player of the Month’ for the month of March after scoring 20 points (11 g, 9 a) in just 11 games. Will Cuylle led the team in goals in the regular season with 25.
Seven different Wolf Pack players have five points or more in the postseason. Forwards Tim Gettinger and Tanner Fritz lead the team with seven points each.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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