Friday, December 31, 2010

Hershey headed home with a win

Hershey finally beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night. I didn't get to see the game live but Keith Aucoin's goal with about 30 seconds to play in the 2nd period proved to be enough as Hershey won 1-0.

It was Hershey's first 1-0 victory since the 09 Calder Cup playoffs against the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Braden Holtby got the victory, his 9th this season and 3rd shutout, with a 25 save effort over the East division leading Pens.

Now Hershey has to come down from that emotional high and be ready to play against the Syracuse Crunch tonight in Hershey. And it is a 5:00 start too which makes it harder.

The Bears have won 4 straight and have only allowed 2 goals in their last 3 games. Looking back a little further and you see that Hershey has only allowed 10 goals in their last 6 games. Pretty good for a team that was sitting at about .500 a few weeks ago.

Hershey is now only 3 points out of 2nd in the East division although they still trail the Pens by 9 points.

Tonight Syracuse comes to Hershey for a New Years Eve showdown. The Crunch sit in 7th place with 26 points and have lost 3 in a row and 6 of their last 8.

But they have an advantage. Hershey just finished playing a huge rival in a special setting. And the Bears have to make the trip back to Hershey and be ready to play an evening game in front of their home fans.

There are enough veterans on the team to believe that Hershey will come out ready to play but it is a tough thing to ask of them. The Crunch did not play last night and getting up for playing the 2 time defending champs is tough.

And don't think that Syracuse can't win just because they are struggling this season. One of those 2 wins over the past 8 games was against the Baby Pens.

Hershey Bears
record ~ 20-12-0-1 39 points
standings ~ 4th in East Division
most recent game ~ 1-0 Win @ Wilkes-Barre, 12/30
last 5 games ~ 4-1-0-0
home record ~ 10-7-0-0
goals for ~ 115
goals against ~ 81
power play ~ 20.5% (6th)
penalty kill ~ 83.4% (12th)

Syracuse Crunch
record ~ 11-18-1-3 26 points
standings ~ 7th in East Division
most recent game ~ 5-0 Loss @ Wilkes-Barre, 12/29
last 5 games ~ 2-3-0-0
road record ~ 5-11-0-1
goals for ~ 77
goals against ~ 113
power play ~ 16.3% (21st)
penalty kill ~ 80.1% (24th)

last time teams met - This is the 4th meeting between the clubs this season but the first in Hershey. Hershey is 3-0-0-0 against the Crunch this season and has outscored them 12-4 in the 3 games. Most recently Hershey won 5-1 on November 26.

Players to watch:


RW Andrew Gordon (10) - The team leader in goals (16) and points (31) has 3 goals and 3 assists against Syracuse this season.
C Keith Aucoin (11) - Scored the only goal last night which gives him 4 goals in his last 3 games. He has also moved up to 4th on Hershey's scoring list with 25 points.
G Dany Sabourin (35) - Has started all 3 games against Syracuse this season and has made a combined 86 saves in the meetings.


LW Josh Green (12) - 4th on the team in points with 14 points but he has had an impressive December with points in 8 of his 12 games this month.
RW Dan Sexton (23) - Has only played in 11 games for the Crunch this season but he has 6 goals and 5 assists in those games including 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 6 games.
C Trevor Smith (18) - Team leader in assists (13) and points (20). Has 5 goals and 3 assists in 12 December games.


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