Last Saturday night the Bears hosted the Rochester Americans and handed them a 6-2 loss while forcing the Amerks starting goaltender Alexander Salak from the game.
Tonight the Bears will be the guests at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial (that's a mouthful) in Rochester.
Rochester is much better at home than on the road. At home they are 11-1-1-0 overall while only 9-6-0-0 on the road. They have also scored 50 goals at home and have only allowed 25 while those numbers are 43 and 48 on the road. And while Hershey hasn't been bad on the road this year (9-5-0-0) they have struggled the past 2 Friday nights on the road when a Wednesday game didn't keep them prepared. And guess what...this is another of those.
A true test of what this team has comes tonight. A good team, even better at home, against a Bears team that hasn't exactly dominated in recent Friday road games.
Last Saturday the Amerks were playing without a few of their top offensive weapons including Michal Repik and Jeff Taffe. And after 3 shifts Graham Mink also left the game with an injury. None of those three are expected to play tonight either.
Rochester played Syracuse this past Tuesday and looked average doing it. Salak however looked very good which is a good sign for the Amerks considering his game in Hershey last Saturday. Rochester got a boost in that from NHLer Nick Tarnasky who is in Rochester for a 5 game conditioning stint. He scored 2 goals Tuesday and will play this weekend against Hershey.
On other note....Michael Duco is back in Rochester for this weekend. To those of you who follow any Capitals blogs you might remember Duco from a few weeks ago. On December 3rd while Giroux was in Washington and Duco was in Florida Duco essentially jumped Giroux and ended up with 27 penalty minutes. To read more about this go over to On Frozen Blog and read their write up.
Here is the video as well....
Boy I hope Duco, GMac, and Ammo get to play tonight...that would be fun!!
record ~ 18-8-0-2 38 points
standings ~ 1st in East Division
most recent game ~ 6-2 Win vs Rochester, 12/12
last 5 games ~ 3-2-0-0
road record ~ 9-5-0-0
goals for ~ 103
goals against ~64
power play ~ 16.8% (11th)
penalty kill ~ 93.3% (1st)
record ~ 20-7-1-0 41 points
standings ~ 1st in North Division
most recent game ~ 5-3 Win vs Syracuse, 12/15
last 5 games ~ 2-3-0-0
home record ~ 11-1-1-0
goals for ~ 93
goals against ~ 73
power play ~ 21.3% (2nd)
penalty kill ~ 85.3% (11th)
last time teams met - Hershey won last Saturday night 6-2.
Players to watch:
C Keith Aucoin (11)- Scored a hat trick last Saturday night against the Amerks and is now second on the team in goals with 12. Has 4 goals and 5 assists in 5 December games.
LW Alexander Giroux (12) - Wonder if he is going to go after Duco tonight?? Doubt it but even still he has 3 goals and 9 assists in his last 8 AHL games including 2 assists last Saturday night.
RW Andrew Gordon (10) - After having a minor cold streak of no goals in 6 games he has come to play recently. Scoring 8 goals and adding 5 assists in his last 10 games.
C Jamie Johnson (10) - Leads the team with in points (25) and is tied for the team lead in goals with 10 he was struggling for much of the past few weeks but has managed to pick up his game of late. A goal and 4 assists in his last 2 games after only 2 goals and 2 assists in his previous 10.
LW Michael Duco (14) - Isn't a great offensive threat (only 4 goals this season) but in his last 2 AHL games he has a goal and an assist and lets not forgot that he and Giroux have history.
LW Andrew Sweetland (18) - Only 4 goals this season but 2 of those came last Saturday night against the Bears.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!