Bears Looking for Win in Return Indoors
St. John’s IceCaps (18-21-1-2) vs. Hershey Bears (20-18-2-1)
Friday January 25, 2013
Bears lead 2-1-0-0
The Bears were able to go up to St. John’s and sweep the two game set way back on December 11 & 12, picking up 2-1 and 4-0 wins. Braden Holtby recorded both wins in net for the Bears, stopping 62 of the 63 shots he faced and the Bears got goals from Jon DiSalvatore and Tomas Kundratek in the first victory, and Zach Hamill, Alex Berry, Matt Beaudoin, and DiSalvatore in the second game.
This is the final meeting of the regular season between the two clubs.
Entering Tonight’s Tilt:
The Bears are coming off a disheartening 2-1 overtime loss at the AHL Outdoor Classic last Sunday night to the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Paul Thompson scored the game winner in OT on a bad change by the Bears to give the visitors the extra point. Kundratek managed the lone goal for the Bears and Dany Sabourin (6-5-1) turned away 18 of the 20 shots he saw and took the OT loss. The IceCaps are also coming off a loss to the Baby Pens. The ‘Caps fell 3-0 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday night. Goaltender Eddie Pasquale (11-15-2) surrendered all three goals on the twelve shots he faced in the first period, before giving away to back up Chris Carrozzi the rest of the way.
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
The Bears lost Tomas Kundratek to recall earlier this week and he is not expected back this weekend, nor will he play in the AHL Al-Star game on Monday. Jeff Taffe has been named as the Bears replacement representative. Bears goaltender Philipp Grubauer asked for permission and received it to play in the ECHL All-Star Game in Loveland, CO earlier this week. Grubauer turned away 14 of the 16 shots he faced in the starting role for the ECHL All-Stars. In wake of the departures of Grubauer and Kundratek, the Bears recalled goaltender Brandon Anderson and defenseman Brett Flemming from Reading, mostly for practice purposes and Anderson has since been reassigned back to Reading as Grubauer has returned. The IceCaps have not had any transactions since receiving forwards Maxime Macenauer and Spencer Machacek, as well as defenseman Derek Meech back from parent club Winnipeg last Friday.
Players To Watch:
For the Bears, they will need to rely on the longest tenured Bear Patrick McNeill to step up offensively with the recall of Kundratek and will most likely see his ice time increase. For the IceCaps, the offense really needs to step up as they are having the exact same problem the Bears have, lighting the lamp. Captain Jason Jaffray, who missed a good portion of the past two season with injuries, still leads the team in scoring and will need to step up production if the IceCaps are going to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Between The Pipes:
Both teams haven’t divulged who would be their respective starters for tonight’s contest.
Injuries & Scratches:
For the Bears, defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body), and forwards Mattias Sjogren (undisclosed), and Evan Barlow (lower body) remain sidelined. For the IceCaps, forwards Hunter Tremblay (concussion), Jason King (concussion), and Aaron Gagnon (knee), as well as goaltender Mark Dekanich (hamstring) all remain injured.
The Bears will head up I-81 to the Southern Tier to take on the Binghamton Senators @ 7 PM tomorrow night (1/26) in the last game before the AHL All-Star break.
Jeff Taffe – 9g, 28a – 37 pts
Jon DiSalvatore – 11g, 18a – 29 pts
Tomas Kundratek – 13g, 13a – 26 pts
Jason Jaffray – 6g, 17a – 23 pts
Spencer Machacek – 9g, 10a – 19 pts
Ray Sawada – 8g, 10a – 18 pts **Photo courtesy Kyle Mace / SHoE