Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bears head to Pittsburgh with weapons in tow

The Hershey Bears and the Baby Pens will help kick off Winter Classic weekend tonight with a game at the Consol Energy Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Thanks to a couple reassignments, Hershey is heading to Pittsburgh with reinforcements from Washington! Andrew Gordon and Keith Aucoin were reassigned from the Caps and will be on the ice tonight. Gordon played in all 7 games he was recalled for and scored his first NHL goal of his career last week. Coiner played a little over 11 minutes in his only game this past Tuesday night.

Both players will likely get another chance with the big club this spring as up to this point the Caps can't seem to stay healthy.

That leaves 2 Bears in Washington, Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perreault. And both are impressing in Washington. Perry has been a shot of energy to the offense since he was recalled and Beags is impressing as well. He is getting time as the 3rd center as well as 4th line minutes and the team likes what they see so far:

"There's a guy that's making a great bid to stay here," Boudreau said. "It's his
fourth year pro and his work ethic is second to none. You keep saying: 'OK, is
it going to slow down? Is it because of initial stuff, like is the adrenaline
going to wear down? But it doesn't and he keeps going."

So it looks like at least another few games without a 'full' roster in Hershey.

But thanks to the reassignments that did happen the Bears will be playing with their leading goal scorer and point producer for the first time since December 10th. I am sure Gordo is disappointed to be back in Hershey but he will surely put on a good face and play hard, like he always does.

Also back in the lineup is Coiner who only missed one game on recall. Both players will help bolster an offense that has recently started to pick up again despite the depleted roster.

Any help is a good thing when you are playing the Baby Pens this season. So far in 4 meetings the Pens are 4-0 against Hershey with one of those wins coming in a shootout. The games have been close though with only 1 game being decided by more than 1 goal.

The Baby Pens have been playing a little more average of late as they have lost 3 of their last 7 games. But overall they are still the team to beat in the AHL with a record of 25-7-0-0 and 50 points.

Hershey Bears
record ~ 19-12-0-1 39 points
standings ~ 4th in East Division
most recent game ~ 6-1 Win vs Binghamton, 12/28
last 5 games ~ 3-2-0-0
road record ~ 9-5-0-1
goals for ~ 114
goals against ~ 81
power play ~ 20.3% (8th)
penalty kill ~ 83.0% (17th)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
record ~ 25-7-0-0 50 points
standings ~ 1st in East Division
most recent game ~ 5-0 Win vs Syracuse, 12/29
last 5 games ~ 4-1-0-0
home record ~ 14-4-0-0
goals for ~ 107
goals against ~ 75
power play ~ 18.1% (13th)
penalty kill ~ 83.6% (12th)

last time teams met - This is the 5th of the teams 10 meetings this season. Last time out resulted in a 4-3 win for the Pens on November 20th.

Players to watch:


RW Andrew Gordon (10) - The team leader in goals (16) and points (31) makes his return after a 7 game stint with the Capitals.
C Keith Aucoin (11) - Missed Tuesday's game due to recall but returns along with Gordon for tonight's important matchup against the Pens. He has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 2 games.
LW Kyle Greentree (37) - Second on the team in goals (13) and points (29) he has been impressive in recent night with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games.


C Dustin Jeffrey (21) - Leads the team in goals (14) and points (29). Having a solid December with 5 goals and 4 assists in 8 games this month.
RW Nick Johnson (28) - Second on the team in points (21) and third in goals (10). He scored a hat trick last night and has 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 games.
F Eric Tangradi (25) - He is 2nd on the team in goals with 13 and has been on an absolute tear in December with 9 goals in 11 games this month.


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