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McCormick’s hat trick lifts Firebirds to Game 3 |

PALM DESERT, Calif. ( … Playing on home ice for the first time in 18 days, the Coachella Valley Firebirds took a 2-1 Calder Cup Finals series lead with a 6-2 victory over the Hershey Bears on Tuesday night.

Game 4 will be played Thursday at Acrisure Arena (10 ET/7 PT, AHLTV, NHL Network).

Captain of the Firebirds Max McCormick two points in the first 6:03 of the game, and added an empty netter with 1:36 remaining for the first hat trick in a Calder Cup Finals game since 2009.

Hershey tied the game 2-2 with goals by Henrik Rybinski again Alex Limogesbut Lleyton RoadThe first pro play off goal 4:06 into the second period put Coachella Valley ahead.

Shane Wright scored a goal and had two assists as well Kole Lind added two assists for the Firebirds. Chris Driedger bounced back from a Game 2 loss by stopping 22 of 24 shots in the win.

Hunter Shepard he allowed five goals on 36 shots before being relieved Clay Stevensonwho finished with five stops.

NOTES: Coachella Valley is now 7-0 at home this past season… McCormick’s hat trick was the first in the Calder Cup Finals since Game 2 of the 2009 series, when Jason Jaffray scored three goals in Manitoba’s 3-1 win over Hershey… Shots on goal were 42-24 in favor of the Firebirds, with a 99-64 series advantage… Coachella Valley’s 23 shots in the second frame were the most in a playoff period since Rochester took 4 -24 in the second half of Game 5 against Hartford in 2000… 9,034 in attendance at Acrisure Arena.

(Coachella Valley leads series, 2-1)
Game 1 – Friday, June 14 – Coachella Valley 4, HERSHEY 3
Game 2 – Sun., June 16 – HERSHEY 5, Coachella Valley 2
Game 3 – Tue., June 18 – COACHELLA VALLEY 6, Hershey 2
Game 4 – Thursday, June 20 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 10:00
Game 5 – Sat., June 22 – Hershey at Coachella Valley, 9:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 24 – Coachella Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 26 – Coachella Valley at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary… All times in Mpumalanga

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