Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Big Hit in Hershey

This is an interesting weekend for the Hershey Bears. They came into it facing the three teams immediately below them in the East Division standings -- Binghamton, Bridgeport, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Bears dispatched Binghamton on Friday night, sweeping the Senators out of Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, 4-0 -- a magnificent 47-save shutout by Michal Neuvirth. But that was a mere appetizer compared to what went on at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday. Bridgeport visited the Bears with the aim of closing their deficit to one point behind Hershey. They left beaten and beat up...and five points out of the top spot.

Alexandre Giroux established a Bears franchise record for goal in a season by netting his 53rd and 54th in a 7-2 rout of the Sound Tigers. Giroux' record-setting performance as part of a four-point night wasn't the only highlight of the evening. Keith Aucoin had a five-point night -- a pair of goals and three assists. Graham Mink had a goal to set a career record of 32 goals. Chris Bourque had a goal and a pair of assists. Semyon Varlamov stopped 38 of 40 shots. But there might not have been a bigger "wow" moment than this one...



Staffan Kronwall registered 11 hits in three games with the Caps, but none like this one. You'll note that Kronwall was jumped and had his nose bloodied in fight with Micheal Haley -- the latest installment of players getting jumped after landing a big hit. Kronwall is no fighter, unless you think three (this one being his third) fights in almost 200 regular season games in the AHL and NHL is evidence of pugilistic tendencies. But Haley was made to pay, in a manner of speaking, having to drop the gloves against a tougher customer later in the evening -- Graham Mink...



Should Hamilton defeat Manitoba on Sunday, and Hershey complete the weekend sweep by beating the Penguins, the Bears would take over the top spot in the AHL with six games left to play. Seems the Bears are getting their game faces (snouts?) on as the playoffs approach. Seeing as how the Caps are 6-2-2 in their last ten, maybe they are, too.

It's that time of year. And, for the rest of the highlights...

2 comments:

this space for rent said...

Sounds to me like Mink made Haley pay for jumping Kronwall after a clean hit. Now THAT's how you stop fighting after clean hits - a teammate makes the jumper pay. "You jump my buddy for no reason, you pay the price."

DMG said...

I don't know about that. It might work as a deterrent for some guys but someone who can handle themselves in a fight with anyone isn't going to be dissuaded. I say better enforcement of the instigator rule is more likely to be the deterrent for most players most of the time.