Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bears Drop 2nd Straight

After opening up with 3 straight wins over divisional foes the Bears have dropped 2 straight by the score of 2-1. Last Sunday night Manchester came into Hershey and just flat out played the Bears. In that game it seemed as though the Bears were overlooking the Monarchs and weren't ready to play while the Monarchs were looking forward to the game.

Last night was a different story though. Visiting Glens Falls, New York for the first time to play the Phantoms, Hershey actually out played Adirondack. But they couldn't get the goals. According to the score sheet Hershey out shot the Phantoms 27-15 and that is probably pretty accurate in describing the play. Although I am not convinced Hershey actually got 27 shots on goal.

Defensively it was as good a game as the guys have played this season. Only allowing 15 shots is impressive against any team and few of those 15 shots were quality attempts. Offensively it was a different story though. Too much passing and excellent defense by the Phantoms managed to keep the Bears from getting more than their 1 goal.

With center Keith Aucoin getting playing time in Washington with the injury to Boyd Gordon, Mathieu Perreault joined the top line and played well. Every time the Bears got pressure though they seemed to want to make the extra pass instead of just shooting. Most of those 27 shots were just little tap ins from right in front.

But I will give credit where it is due. The Phantoms defense forced many of those passes and broke up many of them too. And goaltender Johan Backlund played very well making a few big saves and keeping his team in the game.

It was one of those games where Hershey was obviously the better team and played like it but couldn't get the bounces. These games happen during a season, the key does the team come out the next time? Well we get to find out about Hershey immediately as they play in Binghamton tonight.

Expect to see a much more determined group on both sides as Hershey wants to get back in the win column and the Senators will want to respond to the 8-1 beating Hershey put on them last weekend.

My Three Stars of the Game:
  1. Johan Backlund - 26 saves, none spectacular but more than enough
  2. Phantoms Defense - constant pressure kept Hershey away from their goalie
  3. Jay Beagle - I thought he was the best Bear on the ice last night

Grading the Performance:
  • Offense | B- | Not a terrible performance. Consistent pressure, some nice passing, great hustle. But too many passes and not enough shooting doomed this team last night. The Phantoms defense didn't help either as they pressured the Bears forwards all night long.
  • Defense | A | I know the Phantoms scored 2 but they only got 15 shots and honestly I can't remember them getting much pressure at all. The 2nd goal was the fault of Darren Reid. He went for a big hit (and made it) but in the process he left his man skate right down and score behind him.
  • Goaltending | B | Michal Neuvirth made his season debut and he surely didn't look bad but he didn't get enough work to really get in a rhythm either.
  • Power Play | B- | Not bad. Much like the offense overall...consistent pressure, good possession, hustle. But too many passes and not enough shots.
  • Penalty Kill | D | To be honest I missed the Phantoms first goal as I was away from the computer for a minute and thanks to an extremely old building with no replay board I was unable to see it but the PK unit only had 1 chance and they dropped the ball.
  • Overall | B- | As I said above...Hershey was the better team last night but they couldn't get enough of the bounces.


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