C&W Buzzsaw: Bears Looking to Keep their Momentum Up in Norfolk
Hershey Bears (7-10-1-0) vs. Norfolk Admirals (7-10-0-0) Season Series: The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Tied @ 0-0-0-0…these two East Division playmates will meet a total of eight times, including three times in the next 8 days.
This Saturday December 1 @ Giant Center
Entering Tonight’s Tilt:
The Bears are coming off a solid 4-2 victory on home ice over the Toronto Marlies this past Sunday. The Bears got goals Alex Berry (1), Zach Hamill (6), Cameron Schilling (2), & Jon DiSalvatore (3). DiSalvatore’s goal was his 500th career AHL point. Former Bear Keith Aucoin assisted on both goals for the Marlies in the loss. Braden Holtby stopped 40 of the 42 shots he saw to pick up the victory. Despite the win, the Bears are still struggling, losing three straight prior to Sunday and seven of their last ten overall. Offense has been a problem but they have tried to alter that by signing Evan Barlow from Reading to a PTO and he should see top line minutes tonight in southeast Viriginia.
The Admirals are on a slide of their own. After winning their first four games of the season, they have dropped ten of their last thirteen and currently sit in last place in the East Division, one point behind the Chocolate & White. They are coming off a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Connecticut Whale on Saturday night at the XL Center in Hartford. Chad Kolarik had a natural hat trick and that proved to be all the offense the whale would need in the win. John Kurtz (1) and Emerson Etem (4) scored for the Ads who are currently reeling and a win tonight for the Bears would be huge at this point in the season.
The lone Bears transaction in the past few days is the signing of forward Evan Barlow to a PTO. Barlow who was signed from Reading had 10 points in four games for the Royals since being acquired in a trade. He made his Bears debut Sunday night in the 4-2 victory over the Marlies, registering an assist. The Admirals on the hand have been very busy in the past week, adding two players and subtracting three. The Ads added forward Rod Pelley on a PTO. Pelley spent last season in the NHL, registering 3 points split between the New Jersey Devils and the Ads’ parent club, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ads also recalled defenseman Gabe Guentzel from the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, while reassigning forwards Ryan Lasch, Luca Caputi and Garrett Klotz to Fort Wayne. Caputi and Klotz being sent down are a bit of a surprise as they have both been AHL regulars the past few seasons, and Caputi has seen time in the NHL with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins in his career.
Players To Watch:
For the Bears, keep your eye on tough guy Steve Oleksy. Steve-O has provided toughness, grit, and a strong defensive presence on the Bears blue line, endearing himself to Bears nation with his willingness to drop the gloves at a moment’s notice. He KO’d Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton in a spirited one-sided victory on Sunday. For the Admirals, watch forward Peter Holland. After notching 60 points in 71 games for the Syracuse Crunch last season, he leads the Ads in scoring and is showing why he is one of the Ducks top prospects.
Between The Pipes:
At the team’s last practice before boarding the bus, Head Coach Mark French declined to comment on a starting goaltender. For the Admirals, Norfolk has played Frederik Andersen the last two games and played Igor Bobkov the two games prior to that, all four resulted in losses, so at this point, it’s a crap shoot to see who will be in net tonight.
Injuries & Scratches:
The Bears will be without the services of defenseman Garrett Stafford (upper body), and forwards Jon Kalinski (hand) and Ryan Stoa (upper body). The Bears will have three healthy scratches tonight, one on the blue line and two up front. No word on potential injuires or scratches for tonights game, however judging by their roster, the Ads will have to scratch four players.
The Bears will return to the friendly confines of the GC this Friday night as they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ 7 PM.
Jeff Taffe – 5g, 10a – 15 pts
Garrett Stafford – 1g, 13a – 14 pts
Tomas Kundratek – 4g, 7a – 11 pts
Peter Holland – 9g, 7a – 16 pts
Kyle Palmieri – 6g, 8a – 14 pts
Sami Vatanen – 3g, 9a – 12 pts
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
** Photo courtesy Kyle Mace / SHoE