Sunday, January 24, 2010
And you thought the Caps were hot...
On December 11th, the Albany River Rats shut out the Hershey Bears, 3-0.
The Bears seem to have taken the matter rather personally. Since suffering that insult, the Bears have won 17 of 18 games to hit the 70 point mark (in 45 games, five games quicker than did the Caps) and open up a nine-point lead on the rest of the league. During this 17-1-0 run, the Bears…
-- Outscored opponents 91-40 (5.06 – 2.22).
-- Are averaging 7.4 goals a game in their last five games.
-- Are 24-for-84 on the power play (28.6%).
-- Are 75-for-85 on the penalty kill (88.2%).
-- Have points from 21 different players.
-- Have goals from 18 different players.
-- Have three players with at least ten goals: Keith Aucoin (16), Alexandre Giroux (10), and Chris Bourque (10).
-- Have 12 players with at least ten points.
-- Have five games in which they scored at least seven goals.
-- Allowed more than three goals only three times.
-- Have nine wins of at least three goals, five by at least five goals.
-- Outscored opponents 32-7 in the first period (only trailed at the first intermission once).
-- Have 11 periods out of 54 in which they scored at least three goals.
-- Had the first star of the game 16 times in 18 games.
-- Had eight different players be named the game’s first star.
In this run the goalies have done their part…
-- Braden Holtby is 13-1-0, 1.99, .930 (named first star of the game three times and won eight game stars overall)
-- Jason Bacashihua is 3-0-0, 3.67, .870
-- Semyon Varlamov is 1-0-0, 1.00, .966
General Manager Doug Yingst has built quite a team up in Hershey, and Head Coach Mark French, along with assistant Troy Mann and the rest of the Bears’ staff have added to the Bears' reputation as being the flagship franchise of the American Hockey League.
No team has repeated as Calder Cup champion since the Springfield Indians did the trick in the 1989/90 and 1990/91 seasons. The Bears are serving notice to the rest of the AHL that they are not letting down after having won last year’s title.