Holtby goes back to back looking for Bears' fourth straight victory
Hershey Bears (4-3-1-0) vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-2-0-0)
Webster Bank Arena
Saturday November 3, 2012
Series tied at 0-0-0-0…these two teams will meet four times during the 2012-13 regular season.
Friday November 30 @ Giant Center
Entering Tonight’s Tilt: The Bears extended to their winning streak to three games last night, with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Springfield Falcons at MassMutual Center. The Bears got regulation goals from Boyd Kane (1) and Matt Pope (1), while Jeff Taffe and Stan Galiev (game winner) scored in the shootout to secure the victory. Goaltender Braden Holtby (2-1-0) stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in regulation and six of the seven in the shootout. Curtis McElhinney (5-1-1) took the loss for the Falcons while Michael Chaput scored his first professional goal and 2011-12 AHL All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored as well.
The Sound Tigers have had quite an interesting week. After being pushed out of their home due to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, the Tigers practiced at MassMutual Center in Springfield for a few days this week. After playing a three-in-three last weekend, where they lost two of the three (both to Worcester @ DCU Center), they play their first game of the weekend. After playing five of their first six games on the road, the Sound Tigers embark on a three game home stand. Earlier this week, the Sound Tigers announced that tonight’s game and tomorrow’s game vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be free and open to the public in the wake of Sandy. Tonight’s game is already sold out, with limited tickets available for tomorrow. Bravo to the Sound Tigers organization for this gesture of good will, and hopefully the families affected by Sandy will be able to forget their troubles for even a few hours.
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
There have been zero transactions for the Chocolate & White since last weekend. The Sound Tigers had two since last weekend, recalling goaltender Kenny Reiter from the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL on October 27th, in the wake of the injury to goaltender Anders Nilsson. They also signed defenseman Jordan Hill to a PTO to the following day from the Ontario Reign. Hill has played one game and scored a goal.
Players To Watch:
Recently recalled forward T.J. Syner has impress the Bears brass with his blazing speed. He has played three games with the Bears since his recall and has seen time on the top line. I believe its just a matter of time before the speedster gets his first AHL goal.
Blue chip prospect Nino Niederreiter is already playing like a seasoned veteran. In his second pro season, Niederreiter leads the team in scoring with six points in six games. He scored a memorable shootout goal against Braden Holtby at Giant Center last year in his brief stay in Bridgeport.
Between The Pipes:
Braden Holtby gets the back to back start in the cage tonight. For the ‘Lil Isles’, Kevin Poulin has started in 5 of their six games and is 4-1 on the young season, so we will most likely see him this evening.
Injuries & Scratches:
The Bears will still be without the services of defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body), and forwards Matt Beaudoin (ill), Ryan Potulny (lower body), & Mattias Sjogren (upper body) for tonight. Defenseman Patrick McNeill and forward Jon Kalinski were the healthy scratches last night so look for them to get into the lineup this evening.
For the Sound Tigers, defenseman Nathan McIver was practicing this week, but in a red no-contact jersey so he is still out. Goaltender Anders Nilsson was practicing but is still day-to-day at this point and will most likely not play tonight either. Defenseman and blue chip prospect Calvin de Haan has a separated shoulder and is going to miss the entire season.
The Bears will head home after tonight’s game and have five days of rest before heading up I-81 to take on the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena @ Casey Plaza.
Garrett Stafford – 1g, 8a – 9 pts
Jeff Taffe – 3g, 5a – 8 pts
Tomas Kundratek – 2g, 5a – 7 pts
Nino Niederreiter – 4g, 2a – 6 pts
5 players tied @ 4 pts