Saturday, November 29, 2008

That's 7

Hershey looked like they were going to be beaten in Albany last night before Kyle Wilson tied the game and Francois Bouchard won it in overtime.

Albany led for most of the game after scoring the first goal 8 minutes into the first period. The Bears couldn't beat Albany goaltender Jason Peters on any of their 11 first period shots and many of their other shots as well.

But Alexandre Giroux (14th) scored about 4 minutes into the 2nd period to tie the game at 1. But the Rats came back and took another 1 goal lead with just over a minute to play in the period when Harrison Reed deflected a shot and it jumped up over Varlamov's shoulder into the net.

For much of the 3rd period it looked like Albany might send the Bears home with their first loss in 7 games but about halfway through the period Kyle Wilson scored his 8th of the year to tie it.

From that point on the Bears dominated play. They threw everything they had at Peters and the Albany defense but couldn't get the game winner.

Halfway through overtime Bouchard (7th) took a little drop pass from Josh Godfrey and beat Peters with a perfect shot to the upper corner to win the game.

Watching the team celebrate Bouchards goal was good. They all swarmed the rookie and Simeon Varlamov was probably the most excited. You could see him jumping up and down in his goalie equipment along with all his teammates. I guess winning translates easy in any language!

My Three Stars of the Game:
  1. Kyle Wilson - game tying goal and tied for team lead with 5 shots
  2. Francois Bouchard - perfect goal in OT to win the game for Hershey
  3. Alexandre Giroux - first goal kept Hershey in it. he also had 5 shots

Grading the Performance:
  • Offense - C+ - They got the win but they were outplayed for much of this game. 28 shots is not what we are used to seeing from this team. Albany played very well at the defensive end and limited Hershey's attempts.
  • Defense - A - Considering the guys who are back on the blue line this group is playing GREAT! A week ago Josh Godfrey, Sasha Pokulok, and Patrick Wellar were all playing the ECHL and last night they played very well in the A. Sasha especially looked very good out there.
  • Goaltending - B - I missed the first goal so I can't tell you what it was like but the 2nd one there was nothing Varlie could have done with it. I nice shot and a beautiful redirect by the forward in front. My only complaint on Varlie is that sometimes he comes so far out to challenge that he leaves the net wide open for a second or two. He hasn't really been caught on it but it will happen sooner or later.
  • Power Play - B+ - 1 for 4 with the man advantage isn't great but they had plenty of opportunities. They set up well and moved the puck with ease but couldn't find the back of the net.
  • Penalty Kill - B - allowed 1 goal on 5 chances which wasn't terrible but it could have been better. But again, considering the players and what the roster looks like right now I would say a solid job.
  • Overall - B - If the Bears play this way against a good offensive team they won't make it out with a win. Albany deserves some credit for the defensive play but Hershey is the better team and they didn't show it at all times last night.



Anonymous said...

I believe it was Godfrey who made the play on the game winner? Specially when he got the only assist. He also lead the team in +- with a +2. Sasha????

GM said...

your right I thought Perrault touched the puck but he must not have.

Godfrey played very well but I specifically watched Sasha play and i thought he did much better than his first game on Wednesday. he was consistently in position and hustled. His only problem is that he carries the puck too deep from time to time. But I thought he played a very good game.

but really the entire defense did a good job. Wellar made a couple of errant passes but that is to be expected from him in his first game with guys he never played with and a system he doesn't know.

GM said...

AND +/- is not a defining stat.

Anonymous said...

I do agree it's not a defining stat but why does everyone make suck a big deal over Alzners +-?
I pretty sure that Perrault did drop the puck on the goal after Godfrey. So Perrault should have had an assist on the goal.

GM said...

I think people over react to +/- usually. On a team that has outscored its opposition by 40 goals like Hershey has done EVERYONE should be in the plus. I think it is a more telling stat when someone is the opposite of most the team. Then you can take the stat and make use of it.

When I saw the replay of the goal it looked like Perrault might have NOT touched it but I thought they originally gave him an assist so I thought either I didn't see it very well or they thought the same thing I did. They must have changed the scoring after the fact.