C&W Buzzsaw: Riding Grubby's Hot Hand
Hershey Bears (25-20-3-5) vs. Albany Devils (21-19-1-9) Season Series: The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs:
Historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Sunday February 24, 2013
Series tied 1-1-0-0
The Devils got a late third period goal from Harri Pesonen to stake them to a 3-2 victory at Giant Center back on December 29. Bobby Butler and Tim Sestito scored for the Devils as well and they got 34 saves from Keith Kincaid, while the Bears got tallies from Jon DiSalvatore and Zach Hamill, and Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots in the losting effort.
The Bears will make their lone visit to the Times Union Center in Albany on Friday March 29 @ 7 PM.
Entering Tonight’s Tilt:
The Bears knocked off the Adirondack Phantoms at Giant Center last night by a score of 3-0. The Bears got a shorthanded goal from Patrick McNeill, and power play tallies from Ryan Potulny and Ryan Stoa, as well as Jeff Taffe and Steve Oleksy adding a pair of helpers apiece, but the true story was rookie netminder Philipp Grubauer. ‘Grubby’ stopped all 40 shots he faced, including 20 in the second period alone, to get his first career AHL shutout. He has stopped 101 of the 104 shots he has faced in the past three games and is on an unbelievable roll.
The Devils were able to knock off the team that knocked off the Bears Friday night, the Binghamton Senators. The Devils got pair of goals from Jowe Whitney and single tallies from Mike Sislo, Steve Zelewski, and Phil DeSimone to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Southern Tier and won the game 5-3. Jeff Frazee stopped 36 of 39 to improve to 5-9-4 on the season.
The Bears recalled goaltender Brandon Anderson from Reading this morning to make the trip to AC in the wake of Dany Sabourin’s freak injury last night. Anderson as backed up for Hershey a few times, but never actually got into any game action at the AHL level. He is 8-6-1 in 15 games with the Royals this season, sporting a 3.05 GAA and a .880 save percentage. The Devils have recalled forward/defenseman Harry Young from the ECHL’s Trenton Titans. Young has played one game with Albany this season and went scoreless. He has played 34 games split between the Titans and the Kalamazoo Wings (also of the ECHL), and registered one assist and 55 PIMS between the two clubs.
Players To Watch:
Bears forward Ryan Stoa might finally be hitting his offensive stride. After missing much of the season due to injury, he has scored four goals in his last five games, including one last night to cap the goal scoring. If he gets hot, it can only help the Chocolate & White down the stretch. For the Devils, keep your eye on 5’6" forward Joe Whitney. After leading the A-Devs in points last season, he currently leads the team in goals with 14 and will look to continue his luck in AC tonight.
Between The Pipes:
With his 40 save performance last night, there is no reason to believe Mark French wouldn’t go with Grubauer in the net, although nothing has been confirmed. Albany’s netminding tandem of Jeff Frazee and Keith Kincaid have split time this season, with Frazee going last night vs the B-Sens. Since Kincaid has faced the Bears during both meetings this year, it stands to reason he goes again against the Chocolate & White.
Injuries & Scratches:
New day, same old story on the Bears injury report. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov (upper body) and forward Danick Paquette (hand) remain out. Goaltender Dany Sabourin took a puck to the head while sitting on the bench last night and had to have stitches to close the cut. He will be out this afternoon. Devils forward Mattias Tedenby is out after having plastic surgery to repair facial lacerations, suffered in a game February 15th in Glens Falls against the Phantoms. There is no timetable for his return.
The Bears will be off all week until Friday (3/1) when they head up I-81 to Wilkes-Barre Township to take on the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins @ 7 PM.
Jeff Taffe – 12g, 34a – 46 pts
Jon DiSalvatore – 14g, 20a – 34 pts
Casey Wellman – 8g, 23a – 31 pts
Matt Anderson – 10g, 21a – 31 pts
Joe Whitney – 14g, 15a – 29 pts
Steve Zelewski – 10g, 19a – 29 pts
The Ups & Downs & Ins & Outs: