Obviously the game means little to Hershey other than going into the postseason on a good note. But the game meant lots to Norfolk.
Thanks to Bridgeport's win over Lowell the Norfolk Admirals are in dire need of some good news. Even if they win tonight they are likely going to miss the playoffs. All Bridgeport and Lowell need is one point in their final 2 games to clinch playoff berths. While Norfolk needs one of the two to lose their last 2 and they need to beat Hershey tonight.
Wilkes Barre did manage to win last night and has clinched a playoff berth as well. But I learned something quite interesting today...Hershey can still play them in the first round even if Norfolk misses the playoffs.
The scenario plays out like this. Let's assume Norfolk misses the playoffs and Lowell finishes 4th in the Atlantic, that would mean Bridgeport is 5th and Wilkes Barre is 3rd in the East.
The Bears would then play whomever has less points, Wilkes Barre or Bridgeport in the first round while Albany would get the other.
If the three teams win their remaining games, each has 2 left, then Hershey would get Bridgeport while Wilkes Barre would head to Albany.
So if you are scoreboard watching tonight hoping to see who the Bears will play here you go:
- Hershey at Norfolk - 7:15 - Norfolk has to win and get help tonight and tomorrow but technically they are still alive.
- Manchester at Bridgeport - 7:00 - The Monarchs are in and with a point so are the Sound Tigers.
- Lowell at Portland - 7:00 - Portland is in and with a point so is Lowell.
- Wilkes Barre at Binghamton - 7:05 - The Baby Pens are in but if they keep winning the Bears won't have to see them until the second round if at all.