It was a tightly contested tilt from start to finish - with the two sides only combining for 36 shots on goal - and it wasn’t till nearly halfway through regulation that either side broke the ice. The opening goal went to Hershey on a converted man advantage, then the Bears doubled that lead before the second horn sounded.
The Checkers applied pressure to start the third, and almost midway through the frame rookie Ryan McAllister cut that Hershey advantage in half when he banged in a rebound from out front.
Any positive momentum was immediately reclaimed by Hershey, however, as the Bears reestablished their two-goal lead just 35 seconds later and tacked on another 23 seconds after that.
The Checkers turned to an extra attacker with over five minutes left in an effort to jumpstart a comeback, but a Bears empty netter put an end to those hopes of a rally and put the Checkers on the brink heading into Game 3 in Hershey.
After we scored, for some reason that’s where the tide turned. I thought we played a really good hockey game and got it to 2-1, and then you can’t give up those other goals. Things that we know, we lost focus and it’s in the back of the net. We talked all year, it’s very important, the shift after the goal. Whether you’re on for or against. It cost us tonight, but I think the positive part of it is that you saw what the recipe is. They didn’t have a lot, and I thought we had the zone time. A good hockey team. We talked before that you have to prepare for a long series, and we’re prepared for a long series.
Kinnear on turning chances into goals
Just stick with it. It’s a playoff game. You’ve got to fight for your chances and compete to score. I thought for most of the game we had that going. I don’t know what the chances or shots were, but there weren’t very many for (Hershey). Again, you can’t make mistakes that normally we don’t make and we know we shouldn’t make, because it’s a lethal team that has a lot of skill on all four lines. They made us pay for those, but again, we’re prepared for a long series.
Kinnear on the message moving forward
We talked about a good recipe for success. Just because you don’t get the results, you have to stick with that recipe because you know it works. Once you get the results, you start building some confidence from there.