The Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds refused to give up. Down 3-1 hitting the 3rd period of Game-3 in Hersey, Pennsylvania against the Bears, the Firebirds stormed back to tie the game 4-4.
In overtime, top Kraken prospect defenseman Ryker Evans, the 3rd-leading scorer overall in the Calder Cup playoffs, rang the potential game-winner off the post midway through overtime.
Minutes later on a rebound, Riley Sutter banged home a rebound to give the Bears the win and put them back in the series. The home team has now won each of the first three games following shut-out victories in Games 1 and 2 for the Firebirds in Coachella Valley.
When the Bears killed off a delay-of-game penalty midway through the 3rd period while leading the game 4-2, it appeared they might have a victory wrapped up in regulation. The Firebirds had other ideas.
When Coachella Valley forward Ville Petman got tripped at 14:16, his club would capitalize on their fourth and final power play. Cameron Hughes lit the lamp at 15:26 to cut matters to 4-3. With goalie Joey Daccord on the bench and the extra Firebirds attacker on the ice, Hughes would score again to tie the game with 51-seconds remaining on a backhand feed from Kole Lind.
Lind, the former Vancouver Canucks 2nd-round draft pick and Kraken NHL expansion draft acquisition, leads the Calder Cup playoffs with 21 assists and 28 points.
To go with his two 3rd-period goals, Hughes had an assist on Brogan Rafferty’s 1st-period goal that tied the game 1-1 at 18:29. Rafferty returned the favor with an assist in the 3rd. Jimmy Schuldt had two assists.
Coachella Valley ended up out-shooting Hershey 37-30 and went 2-for-4 on the power play. The Bears went 2-for-5.
Game-4 is Thursday night at the Giant Center in Hershey.