C&W Buzzsaw: Bears Continue Their Trip North of the Border
Hershey Bears (23-19-3-4) vs. Toronto Marlies (25-17-2-2) The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
Saturday February 16, 2013
Bears lead 1-0-0-0
The Bears knocked off the Marlies 4-2 at Giant Center way back on November 25. The Bears got goals from Alex Berry, Zach Hamill, Cameron Schilling, and Jon DiSalvatore to build up a 4-0 lead. Matt Frattin had both goals for the Marlies while former Bear Keith Aucoin had assists on both and Mike Kostka added a helper as well. All three of those players are now gone off the Marlies roster as Kostka and Frattin are now up with the Maple Leafs and Aucoin was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders.
This is the final meeting of the season between the two clubs, barring a meeting in the Calder Cup Finals.
Entering Tonight’s Tilt:
The Bears have lost two straight games, but both have come by way of the shootout, including a 3-2 loss at Copps Coliseum last night to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Ryan Stoa had a pair of power play goals in regulation, with Garrett Stafford and Peter LeBlanc assisting on both, but the Dogs got goals from Stefan Chaput and Louis Leblanc (no relation to Peter) to send it to the skills competition where Gabriel Dumont, Chaput, and Leblanc all tallied to give the Bulldogs the extra point. Bears goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 26 of 28 in regulation and overtime but only two of five in the shootout, while counterpart Robert Mayer stopped 34 of 36 (plus getting help from the post and crossbar respectively twice) and three of five in the shootout to get the win. At one point this season, the Marlies were leading the Western Conference, but the end of the lockout really hurt them and since then, they have fallen to 8th place and only four points ahead of 12th place Peoria. The Marlies fell in their last game to the same team that beat the Bears last night, the Hamilton Bulldogs, this past Tuesday. The Marlies got goals Will Acton and Joe Colbourne to go up 2-1 but ultimately fell 3-2 on a late Dos’ power play tally.
The Bears reassigned forward TJ Syner to Reading yesterday and he played in the Royals 4-3 loss in Elmira last night. The only transactions for the Marlies are the recall of goaltender Jussi Rynnas to the parent Maple Leafs due to the injury to James Reimer and the signing of Royals (and former Bears, albeit for only one game backing up) Drew MacIntyre to a PTO.
Players To Watch:
With the two assists yesterday, Peter LeBlanc now has four helpers in six games since joining the Bears. He has had several scoring chances, but has been unable to find the net himself. Head Coach Mark French has him playing on a line with fellow newcomer Casey Wellman and Ryan Potulny and that line has arguably been the Bears best over the past few weeks and it seems to be a matter of time before the former 24 goal scorer gets hot for the Chocolate & White. Marlies’ Captain Ryan Hamilton now bears the most of the scoring load as Aucoin and Kostka have since departed. He leads the team with 20 goals, way ahead of the second place guy, Carter Ashton, who has 10. He will be looked upon to keep his hot streak going if the Marlies are going to stop their slide.
Between The Pipes:
There is no word on whom will be net for either club, but with the three-in-three it might be Dany Sabourin for the Bears and with Jussi Rynnas up with the Leafs, Mark Owuya will probably start for the Marlies.
Injuries & Scratches:
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body) and forward Danick Paquette (hand) are out for the Bears. No word at this point on any Marlies out of action.
The Bears head back across the border to take on the Rochester Americans @ 3PM tomorrow afternoon (2/17).
Jeff Taffe – 10g, 32a – 42 pts
Jon DiSalvatore – 13g, 20a – 33 pts
Casey Wellman – 7g, 20a – 27 pts
Keith Aucoin – 10g, 27a – 37 pts
Mike Kostka – 6g, 28a – 34 pts
Ryan Hamilton – 20g, 10a – 30 pts
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs: