C&W Buzzsaw: Facing Off Against Some Familiar Faces
Hershey Bears (3-3-1-0) vs. Springfield Falcons (5-1-0-1) Season Series: The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
Friday November 2, 2012
Series tied at 0-0-0-0…these two teams will meet only twice during the 2012-13 regular season.
Saturday December 22 @ Giant Center
Entering Tonight’s Tilt: The Bears head up to the New England to start a three game road trip tonight, first vising the MassMutual Center, or as it has come to be dubbed ‘Giant Center North’ with all the former Bears alumni playing for the Falcons these days. Former Calder Cup winners Greg Amadio and Andrew Joudrey, as well as current Falcons captain Ryan Craig all spent time in Chocolatetown in their careers and might be seeing some familiar faces in chocolate unis tonight. The Bears come in on a bit of a hot streak, winning two in a row at home last weekend, shutting out the Albany Devils 3-0 Saturday night and following that up with a 3-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Sunday afternoon. After surrendering two goals in the first 6;25 of their game Friday night in Connecticut (which resulted in a 3-1 defeat), the Bears defense managed to bounce back, allowing only three goals (one being an empty netter) in the next eight periods of hockey to close out the weekend 2-1. The Bears offense has been very spread out and of the 7 goals scored by the Chocolate & White last weekend, there were six different goal scorers, with Zach Hamill scoring in back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.
If the Bears are hot, the Falcons are exploding. The Birds come into tonight leading the conference with a 5-1-0-1 record with their only blemishes being a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Providence Bruins on October 20, and a 3-2 shootout loss to the Bears opponent tomorrow night, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last Saturday night, both coming on MassMutual Center ice. The Falcons have enjoyed some serious home cooking as six of their first seven games have come at home, and nine of their first 11 overall. Former Bear Amadio has played only one game with the Falcons this season and recorded 11 minutes in penalties, including one fight.
The Bears reassigned goaltender Phillipp Grubauer to Reading at the beginning of last weekend, as well as recalling forward T.J. Syner from Reading. The Falcons have only had two transactions in the past week, recalling forward Nathan Moon from the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones and then reassigning him to the Evansville Icemen, also of the ECHL. They also had to recall goaltender Mike Clemente from the CHL’s Missouri Mavericks yesterday due to a minor injury to fellow goaltender Paul Dainton.
Players To Watch:
For the Bears, defenseman Garrett Stafford has been a welcomed addition. ‘Staff’ is tied for fourth in scoring by defenseman with his 8 points on the year and tied for second in assists with 7. With Orlov out, I’m sure his ice time will increase. For the Falcons keep your eye on second year pro Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. He enters the game leading the Birds in scoring after putting up a solid 70 point rookie campaign for the Connecticut Whale last season.
Between The Pipes:
Co-Coach Mark French has stated that Braden Holtby is set to go in between the pipes tonight for the Chocolate & White, while Saturday’s starter in Bridgeport is TBA. I would look for the Falcons to go with Curtis McElhinney, fresh off his AHL Goalie of the Month award for October.
Injuries & Scratches:
The Bears will be without the services of forwards Ryan Potulny and Mattias Sjogren, along with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body) all of whom will not be making the trip this weekend. Forward Matt Beaudoin missed practice Thursday due to illness and there is no word on whether he will make the trip or not. Falcons’ goaltender Paul Dainton is nursing a minor injury and is day-to-day. The Falcons have a roster of 28, so obviously several players will be watching from press row.
The Bears will travel the 80 miles south on I-91 to play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tomorrow @ 7pm for the second game of their three game road trip.
Jeff Taffe – 3g, 5a – 8 pts
Garrett Stafford – 1g, 7a – 8 pts
Tomas Kundratek – 2g, 5a – 7 pts
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault – 2g, 5a – 7 pts
Cam Atkinson – 3g, 3a – 6 pts
Ryan Johansen – 3g, 3a – 6 pts
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
**Photo courtesy JustSports Photography