Monday, January 24, 2011

Bears finish strong

3 games.  18 goals scored.  5 goals allowed.  3 wins.  6 points.

And the Bears go from 4th in the East division to only 2 points behind 2nd place Norfolk.

That's a good weekend.  Hershey took care of Albany on Friday and Rochester Saturday before taking care of Adirondack yesterday evening. 

Last night saw a much slower start than the other 2 games this weekend.  The Bears didn't score their first goal until 2 minutes into the 2nd period when Francois Bouchard (6) put a puck in the top corner. 

From there Hershey pretty much dominated play despite having only 5 second period shots and 8 third period shots.  Of those 13 shots the Bears scored 5 times on Michael Leighton and the Phantoms. 

Andrew Gordon (20) continued his offensive production, as did Brian Willsie (17), while Patrick Wellar (3) and Sheldon Souray (2) also contributed some goals. 

Souray made it into the lineup a few days ahead of schedule and played his first game since December 17th.  He wasn't expected to play until Wednesday night but with some other players missing the game to injury (Fahey and Nycholat) the Bears needed another defenseman to go.

Dany Sabourin started for the 3rd time in 3 nights and looked exceptional again.  Overall for the weekend he went 3-0, allowed 5 goals, and stopped 94% of the shots he faced.  Not too bad.

Overall I would say it was likely the most complete weekend the Bears have played all season.  A week after scoring only 3 goals in losses to Lake Erie and Binghamton the Bears responded with 18 in 3 games.  12 different players scored a goal for the Bears this weekend.  12.  In 3 games.  

Some players took it to another level as well.
  • Brian Willsie - 4 goals and 2 assists this weekend
  • Andrew Gordon - 2 goals and 3 assists
  • Keith Aucoin - 1 goal 5 assists
  • Francois Bouchard - 2 goals 1 assist
  • Patrick Wellar - 2 goals 3 assists
  • Steve Pinizzotto - 1 goal 3 assists
Those are good weekends for those guys.  Everyone on the team played well but those 6 really stood out on the scoresheet's.

The Bears can't lose this momentum though.  On Wednesday the Bears welcome Kyle Wilson and the Springfield Falcons to Giant Center.  Kyle had spent the entire season with Columbus in the NHL until this past weekend when he joined the Falcons for 2 games.  He had a goal and 3 assists in those 2 games.  Not a bad start.

Norfolk currently resides in 2nd place in the East division, 2 points ahead of Hershey.  They have 4 games to the Bears 3 this week with an extra game on Tuesday night. 
Charlotte sits in 4th, tied in points with the Bears as of today.  They have 3 games this week including a visit to Hershey on Saturday afternoon.

Hershey needs to be ready for their games this week.  They can not afford to have a let down after 3 great wins.  They need to at least keep pace with Norfolk and Charlotte heading into the All-Star break.


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