The Bears took the critical first period lead and it paid off for them. Hershey is now 18-2-0-2 in games where they have a lead after the 1st period. (Manchester is undefeated when they lead after one).
Patrick McNeill scored his 2nd goal of the season while Todd Ford made 28 saves (plus 5 more in the shootout) to pick up the win for the Bears.
With the win Hershey trails Wilkes-Barre by just 8 points with 2 games in hand.
From that game against a division leader on a hot streak to a game against a 6th place team that isn't playing too well. And the 2nd game in 3 nights away from Giant Center.
The Providence Bruins enter tonight's game residing in 6th place in the Atlantic division. They really aren't what you would expect from a 6th place team though. They are only a couple games below .500 and are only 6 points out of the final playoff spot in the division.
At home they aren't dominant but they have won 5 straight on home ice. In those 5 wins they are outscoring the opponent 15-6.
Overall they aren't playing that well of late though. They have lost 3 straight and 4 of the last 5 games. In those 5 games they have recorded 8 goals and have given up 14. So defensively they are still playing well but the goals aren't being scored.
The Bruins can hang their hat on the fact that they beat the Bears 2-1 back in December. It was the last game of a 3 game losing streak the Bears were riding.
Since that game the Bears are 16-2-1-2.
I would say this is a different team now. And they will surely be looking to avenge the earlier loss.
Some more fun facts:
- Providence is only 2-6-1-0 against the East division (wins over Albany and Hershey)
- Hershey is (after Wed nights victory) 4-2-0-0 against the Atlantic
- Providence is the WORST team in the league for power play success at home - only 8.6%
- Hershey is #15 in the league in penalty killing on the road
- Providence is #18 in home penalty killing
- Hershey is #5 in power play success on the road
- Providence has been outscored by 20 goals in the 2nd period
- Hershey outscores the opposition by 13 in the 2nd period (actually their worst period, 22 in the first and 23 in the third)
- Providence is 28th and 21st in goals for and goals against per game, respectively
- Hershey is 2nd and 1st in the same categories
record ~ 32-14-1-3 68 points
standings ~ 2nd in East Division
most recent game ~ 2-1 SO Win @ Manchester, 2/9
last 5 games ~ 4-0-0-1
road record ~ 15-6-1-1
goals for ~ 174
goals against ~ 117
power play ~ 22.6% (2nd)
penalty kill ~ 85.1% (8th)
record ~ 23-24-3-1 50 points
standings ~ 6th in Atlantic Division
most recent game ~ 4-1 Loss @ Charlotte, 2/8
last 5 games ~ 1-4-0-0
home record ~ 10-13-1-1
goals for ~ 124
goals against ~ 157
power play ~ 11.6% (29th)
penalty kill ~ 77.9% (27th)
last time teams met - Providence won 2-1 in Hershey on December 18th. This is the 2nd and final meeting of the regular season.
Players to watch:
Hershey:LW Boyd Kane (12) - This might surprise some people...Kane is riding a 4 game point streak. 2 goals and 4 assists in those 5. Actually has at least one point in 10 of his last 11 (4g, 9a).
RW Francois Bouchard (22) - Has already doubled his scoring total from the first half with 4 goals since the midway point in the season. Playing with Coiner should help get going again.
C Keith Aucoin (11) - Has at least one point in 12 straight games (3 goals, 16 assists in that time frame). Has taken over the team points lead (50 points) despite missing 17 games.
Bruins:C Jamie Arniel (11) - Leads the team in goals (14) and points (32) but the All-Star has not scored a goal since 2010! He only has 7 assists in 19 games in 2011.
RW Kirk MacDonald (13) - Has 10 goals and 15 assists on the season. He scored against Hershey back in December and has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 7 games.
C Trent Whitfield (23) - Has only played in 17 games for the P-Bruins this season and has 4 goals and 5 assists to show for it including 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 7 games.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!