Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bears Trail Bridgeport by 1 with Toronto Visiting Tonight

A big thank you to the Worcester Sharks as they went into Bridgeport and came out of there with a win over the Sound Tigers. That game gives the Bears 3 games in hand over Bridgeport and only a 1 point margin to make up. And there are 2 games left against the Sound Tigers.

On top of that the Bears 4 points this past weekend combined with Wilkes Barre/Scranton's zero points gives the Bears a 5 point cushion over the Pens and 1 game in hand. The two teams still have 3 games head to head as well.

In other news I am not sure if you heard but Alexander Giroux scored his 50th goal of the season in Sunday's win. He becomes only the 45th player in AHL history to get to the 50 goal mark and he still has 10 games to many can he get?

Tonight's game is against the Toronto Marlies and will be Hershey's last game outside of the division this regular season. This game also begins what will be the final 4 in 5 of the season as well as the Bears have games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this weekend.

Toronto is fighting for their playoff lives right now so they will surely be ready to play. But they have struggled mightily on the road recently having only won 4 of their last 14 on the road. And 2 of those wins came against division cellar dwelling Rochester. So not a lot of positives for the Marlies away from their home city.

But this is another one of those "can the Bears get excited for a non-rival" games. Personally I think that being its a final 10 game and with Bridgeport's loss last night Hershey can retake first place tonight the Bears will be ready to go.

Scoreboard Watchers:

Bridgeport is off until Saturday's game in Hershey
Wilkes Barre/Scranton hosts the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:05

Hershey Bears
record ~ 44-19-1-6 95 points
standings ~ 2nd in East Division
playoff positioning - 1 pt behind 1st; 5 pts ahead of 3rd
most recent game ~ 3-2 SO Win @ Manchester, 3/22
last 5 games ~ 4-1-0-0
home record ~ 24-8-0-3
goals for ~ 264
goals against ~213
power play ~ 19.1% (6th)
penalty kill ~ 79.3% (29th)

Toronto Marlies
record ~ 35-27-3-6 79 points
standings ~ 4th in North Division
playoff positioning ~ 12 pts behind 3rd; 1 pt ahead of 5th
most recent game ~ 3-2 OT Loss vs San Antonio, 3/22
last 5 games ~ 2-1-1-1
road record ~ 14-15-2-4
goals for ~ 214
goals against ~ 203
power play ~ 20.5% (3rd)
penalty kill ~ 82.2% (17th)

last time teams met - Hershey won 6-1 in Toronto on March 7.

Players to watch:


C Mathieu Perrault - Has been one of the more consistent workers over the past couple of weeks even though it isn't showing up on the score sheet.
LW Alexandre Giroux (12) - He has reached 50...can he reach 54? And if he can when will it happen? Most are hoping for this Saturday or Sunday night. He has 3 goals and 2 assists in the past 2 games.
D Karl Alzner (7) - Here is a guy that you never hear about...which is the way d-men really want it. He doesn't show up on the score sheet very much but he is as consistent as anyone on this team. Unfortunately he will probably be in Washington for the playoffs.


C Tim Stapleton (17) - He leads the team with with 67 points and has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 3 games.
RW Jeremy Williams (19) - Leads the team in goals with 24 goals. He has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 5 games. Also a team worst -12.
LW Bates Battaglia (33) - Third on the team in points and assists he has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 2 games. He is a team best +13.


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