The Hershey Bears’ 2016-17 season concluded on Wednesday evening with a 4-2 loss to the Providence Bruins in Game 7 of the Atlantic Division Finals. The Bears went down 3-1, and nearly came back, but stout defense from the Bruins kept Hershey off the board when they needed it most.

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Bruins Hand Bears 4-2 Loss to Force Game 7

On May 16, 2017, in Game Recap, by Corey Swartz

It looked pretty good for the Bears at the start of Game Six of the Atlantic Divison Finals. Two first-period goals put the Bears up 2-0 after one period. However, the next forty minutes would be a different story.

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Madison Bowey celebrates his game winning overtime goal against Providence in game five of the Atlantic Divison Finals Sunday afternoon in Providence (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

The Hershey Bears faced a big challenge in Game 5 against the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon. With a tied series, the Bears had the opportunity to come home with a lead or a deficit. They did just that thanks to another overtime win at Dunkin’ Donuts Center by a 3-2 final score.

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The Hershey Bears lost Game 4 in Providence by a final score of 2-1. The game took a turn for the worse for Hershey when Pheonix Copley went down with a lower-body injury during Providence’s second goal at the end of the second period, and Hershey never recovered in the third.

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Chris Bourque celebrates his GWOTG against Providence Friday Thursday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in the Atlantic Divison Finals (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

Pheonix Copley has been a big story for the Hershey Bears this season. He was brought in at the trade deadline to give the team a chance to win games, and if that wasn’t evident at any point this season, it was on Thursday night. The Bears won Game 3 in Providence behind 39 saves from Copley and two goals from Chris Bourque propelled the Bears to a 2-1 victory over the Bruins in the second overtime in as many games. Hershey leads the series two games to one.

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Stan Galiev celebrates with Travis Boyd and teammates after Boyd’s overtime winning goal against Providence Sunday night at Giant Center. (All photos: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

Troy Mann said in his postgame interview following the Hershey Bears’ 3-1 loss in Game 1 that it wasn’t how much your power play scores, but when they score. That turned out to be the turning point of Game 2, as Christian Djoos scored in the late moments of a power play with 2:30 on the clock in the third period to tie the game at two apiece. Travis Boyd completed the comeback less than six minutes into overtime, and the Bears took the second game of their series with the Providence Bruins by a final score of 3-2.

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In another repeat of a 2009 playoff series, the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins will face off in the Atlantic Divison Finals. The series begins with game one Saturday night in Hershey. As puck drop nears, I break down this series and provide a final prediction for how I think it will turn out.

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“We faced adversity many times this year, and we gotta go in and win a hockey game. Obviously, it’s not ideal what’s happened here the last couple days, but we’ve had success in [Lehigh Valley] the last three games…so we certainly can go win tomorrow.” Those were the words of Troy Mann following last night’s loss to the Phantoms at Giant Center, and the Bears responded by gutting out a 3-2 win on Sunday evening. Hershey advances to the second round where they will have home ice advantage against the Providence Bruins.

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The Hershey Bears were unable to close out their series with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night, as the Phantoms took the game in overtime on Chris Conner’s breakaway goal. Hershey rematches the Phantoms with another chance to close things out on Saturday.

The game was similar to the first in the series, as both teams played a tight-checking game. Hershey had its best start of the series, energized by the loud crowd at Giant Center.

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GIFs: Hershey Bears Take 2-0 Series Lead After Three-Goal Third

On April 23, 2017, in GIFs, by Chocolate Hockey

Don’t let the fact the Lehigh Valley Phantoms blew a 4-2 lead in the third period distract you from the fact the Hershey Bears now have a two game lead heading back home.

After you check out these GIFs, head on over to Corey Swartz’s recap to check out images that don’t move a breakdown of Saturday night’s win.

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