Note: The Hershey Bears advance to the Atlantic Division Finals to take on the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins which begins Wednesday in Hershey. In case you missed the blog earlier, here are words and a schedule.
With the Divisional Semifinals over and the Division Finals set, it’s time for us to see how wrong I was in my first round predictions.
Wilkes-Barre / Providence
What I said: “Providence in four. Providence’s high powered offense overmatches the Penguins disarray of flavor of the week goaltending and Wilkes-Barre is blown away in four games.”
What actually happened: The exact opposite. The Penguins rode rookie Casey DeSmith over Tristan Jarry and he delivered, including a franchise high 59 saves in the series clincher. Providence’s offense never came to life, Wilkes-Barre swept in three games.
Lake Erie / Rockford
What I said: “Lake Erie in five. Monsters methodical, come at you from all sides tactics is enough to dismiss Rockford in the short five game series.”
What actually happened: Monsters advanced as expected, but it only took three games. Really expected Rockford, who came into the series and out of the regular season on a three game winning streak, to put up more of a fight. They didn’t.
Toronto / Bridgeport
What I said: “Toronto in three. Marlies will make this round easy.”
What actually happened: The blind squirrel found his nut. I was right. The Marlies swept the Sound Tigers easily.
Milwaukee / Grand Rapids
What I said: “Milwaukee in five. One of two series out West that goes the distance.”
What actually happened: Not only did I get the pick wrong, the Griffins, who came into the postseason losing five straight, sweep away the Central Division Champions in three games.
Albany / Utica
What I said: “Albany in four. Comets steal a game early, but the Devils correct, lock down and don’t let go.”
What actually happened: I got this one right too. Comets are too good to get swept, used home ice in Game 3 to steal a game in overtime but their Devils adjusted and blew the Comets out in Game 4 and it wasn’t close.
San Diego / Texas
What I said: Stars in four. San Diego steals one, probably in overtime, but the matchup heavily favors the Stars to advance.
What actually happened: The reverse, or Gulls in four. Take everything out of what you saw in the regular season between these two and toss it. San Diego dominated special teams and got an offensive shot in the arm when parent Anaheim lost Game 7 of their series with Nashville.
Ontario / San Jose
What I said: Ontario in three. It won’t be pretty for San Jose.
What actually happened: Barracuda took Game 2 but fell in four games to the Reign. If not for anything, San Jose gave the Reign a fight, which may have me leaning more in San Diego’s favor in the Pacific Division Finals.
Hershey / Portland
What I said: Bears in five. Of all the series in the East, this one goes the distance.
What actually happened: Bang biscuit. Got this one right too. Portland went up 2-1 in the series, but Justin Peters locked down and only allowed one goal the rest of the series. Portland’s historic inability to close a series continues to haunt them.
5-3 in picks, got the Hershey, Albany and Toronto series perfect.
Monday, I get to do it all again with the Division Final Previews.