Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hershey Finishes Up 3 in 3 at Slumping Monarchs

Well I was hoping for a convincing win last night and it obviously didn't happen. But winning is winning and well they won last night. It took some late game heroics by the AHLs leading goal scorer (and I think the soon to be single season record holder in Hershey) Alexander Giroux, who scored 2 times in the third and assisted on the game winner, to get the 2 points for Hershey.

Tonight (or late this afternoon since its a 4:00 start) Hershey finishes up their season slate against the Atlantic division with a trip to Manchester to play the 3rd place Monarchs.

This is usually the time of year where teams begin making runs to the playoffs but in the case of Manchester (like Portland and Lowell the past 2 nights) they are playing their way out of playoff contention. Apparently the bottom 5 teams in the Atlantic division really don't want to play in the postseason.

Manchester comes into tonight's game losers of 4 straight, of which 3 have been at home. But keep in mind that the losing streak comes on the heals of a 6 game winning streak and they had won 9 of 11 at home before dropping the last 3. So while they seem to be struggling right now remember that before that they were dominating.

Hershey has been up and down for the past month and a half but to prove how good and talented they are (and how big there division lead was) they are still in the hunt for the division crown. Trailing Bridgeport by 1 point with 2 games in hand allows Hershey SOME wiggle room, not much but some.

Tonight would be the perfect night to show the teams in the East division that the Bears don't care where the game is, what time it starts, or where they were last night, all they care about is coming out and winning the game. Whether the win is a 6-1 blowout, 1-0 slug fest, or a 5-4 come from behind win in the last minute victory, it is still a victory.

Scoreboard Watchers:

Bridgeport hosts Portland at 4:00
Wilkes Barre/Scranton is off today

Hershey Bears
record ~ 43-19-1-6 91 points
standings ~ 2nd in East Division
playoff positioning - 1 pt behind 1st; 3 pts ahead of 3rd
most recent game ~ 5-4 Win @ Portland, 3/21
last 5 games ~ 3-1-0-1
road record ~ 19-10-1-3
goals for ~ 261
goals against ~211
power play ~ 18.8% (7th)
penalty kill ~ 79.3% (29th)

Manchester Monarchs
record ~ 33-29-0-7 73 points
standings ~ 3rd in Atlantic Division
playoff positioning ~ tied for 3rd/4th; 2 pts ahead of 5th
most recent game ~ 4-3 SO Loss @ Springfield, 3/20
last 5 games ~ 1-3-0-1
home record ~ 18-13-0-3
goals for ~ 183
goals against ~ 189
power play ~ 17.8% (12th)
penalty kill ~ 84.9% (6th)

last time teams met - Hershey won 2-1 in Hershey on January 24.

Players to watch:

RW Graham Mink - After dominating the month of February Minker has cooled off a bit of late. In his last 6 games he has only managed 2 goals and an assist. Still a serious offensive presence he isn't producing right now.
LW Alexandre Giroux (12) - Well 49 goals so far and 11 games to go. Can he get to 54? I hope so. 2 more goals last night and an assist on the game winner.
C Andrew Joudrey (23) - I am telling you right now that he is CRUCIAL to Hershey's success in the playoffs. He kills penalties and plays hard at both ends EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. And his reward is not on the score sheet....its on the scoreboard.


C Marty Murray (12) - He leads the team with with 47 points and has 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 6 games.
LW Scott Parse (23) - Currently the second leading goal scorer with 14 goals and he is tied for the team lead with a +8. He has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 5 games.
LW Matt Moulson (52) - Currently tied for the team lead with 15 goals and he is also the current leader in points per game with .84 per game (36 points in 43 games).


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