Hershey Bears Take Game 2, Haman Aktell Scores Twice in 5-2 Win | 6/16/2024

Photo via Hershey Bears

The Bears took Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals to tie the series on Sunday, June 16th. Hershey took an early lead and finished with a 5-2 victory. Hardy Haman Aktell scored twice, one being an empty netter to wrap it up, and Hunter Shepard went 32-for-34 in the Bears’ win. Coachella Valley scored twice, both goals by Luke Henman and Marian Studenic. The Bears will meet with the Firebirds on Tuesday at the Acrisure Arena for Game 3.

Hershey Bears Lineup:

Snively – Lapierre – Frank

Limoges – Huntington – Dube

Miroshnichenko – Rybinski – Vecchoine

Strome – Sutter – Trineyev

Haman Aktell – McIlrath

Massie – Priskie

Osipov – Day

Shepard

Stevenson

Hershey Bears Starting Lineup:

Strome – Sutter – Trineyev

Haman Aktell – McIlrath

Shepard

Coachella Valley Firebirds Starting Lineup:

Studenic – Hayden – Shore

Ottavainen – Schuldt

Driedger

   Opening the scoring early for an early Bears lead – Ivan Miroshnichenko struck his seventh of the playoffs at 14:09 in the first. Mike Vecchoine found Miroshnichenko in the slot after he and Vecchoine had forechecked in the attacking zone violently forcing a turnover. The Bears carried their one-goal lead through the remainder of the opening frame, thanks to Hunter Shepard who turned aside 12 shots by the Firebirds.

   Luke Henman tied the game early into the middle frame at 17:18 when he beat a screened Hunter Shepard for his first goal of the playoffs. However, the Bears took back their lead to finish the second period with a two-goal lead. Jimmy Huntington and Pierrick Dube scored to keep the Hershey lead… After Alex Limoges stole the puck from Chris Driedger, he found Huntington above the right circle to send in his third of the playoffs into an open net. Dube extended the lead to 3-1 late in the period at 3:19 when he and Huntington raced up the ice during a 2-on-1 rush, resulting in Dube stuffing in a cross-crease pass at the right post by Huntington for his fourth goal in the postseason.

   Only 17 seconds into the third, Marian Studenic had stolen the puck in the Bears’ zone and quickly sent it past Hunter Shepard to cut the Bears’ lead to 3-2. Minutes later at 10:15, Hardy Haman Aktell restored Hershey’s two-goal lead with a snipe from the point just after Mike Vecchoine won a faceoff. It had been Haman Aktell’s third goal of the playoffs. With only seconds remaining, Haman Aktell struck the empty net for the 5-2 final.

Notes:

– After scoring his fourth goal of the playoffs, Pierrick Dube had slammed into the end boards. He didn’t make a return for the remainder of the game. 

– Shots finished in favor of Coachella Valley, 34-21… Chris Driedger went 16-for-20.

– The Bears went 0-for-3 on the power play, as well as the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

– Jimmy Huntington has recorded an assist in his last four games… Before this game, Ivan Miroshnichenko tied with Milwaukee’s Egor Afanasyev for the league lead of 41 shots on goal.

– Hunter Shepard has sole possession for the eighth-most appearances for a single playoff year in franchise history. In 2023, Shepard played 20 games in the playoffs, tying Justin Peters (2016) for the fourth-most.

   Shepard also tied Peters for the eighth-most wins in franchise history in a single playoff year.

– The Bears are 6-7 lifetime in Game 2 of the Finals when starting the championship series with a loss… They’re also 7-1 when scoring first, while the Coachella Valley Firebirds are 7-2.

Genevive Oliver

I'm a 17-year-old writer and a beginner photographer! I'm a huge hockey, baseball, boxing, and basketball fan.

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