Hershey Team Preview 11/27/2015
A look behind enemy lines, from der Eishockeyzuschauer:
The Whiteboard War continues as the intra-state rival Hershey Bears invade the PPL Center in downtown Allentown for the second time this season on Friday night. Hershey have won their last four games in a row after being absolutely obliterated by the Wilkes-Barre Penguins (0-7) and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (0-5) on consecutive evenings two weeks ago. The Bears currently stand third in the Atlantic Division of the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference having won 10 of 18 games so far this season; the Brown Team have triumphed twice in overtime but succumbed thrice following a shootout.
Since conceding a dozen goals unanswered in back to back contests, the defensive corps of the 11-time Calder Cup champion has tightened up considerably, allowing a total of just six goals in the last four games.
The Hershey Bears have faithfully rotated their two experienced netminders virtually all season long and so it is extremely likely that NHL veteran Dan Ellis (10 ga, 2.83 avg, .893 svpct) will again appear at the PPL Center on Friday. The 35-year-old shot-stopper, who, like Lehigh Valley Phantoms goaltender Anthony Stolarz, played U.S. college hockey at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, has struggled at times this fall but has been particularly sharp in each of his last three outings for the Bears (61 saves, three goals conceded, .938 save percentage). Ellis turned made twenty saves for the visitors when Hershey defeated Lehigh Valley 4-2 in Allentown three weeks ago.
The Russian sniper Stanislav Galiev has returned to the Washington Capitals after scoring three goals in five AHL games (including one at the PPL Center in Allentown) and former University of Michigan Wolverines forward Chris Brown has also gone back to the NHL after completing a conditioning assignment — but this there is no guarantee that the Hershey Bears won’t again be getting reinforcements from the nation’s capital just in time to face off against the Hamilton Street Heroes.
The Hershey Bears definitely miss the offensive talents of teenage Czech playmaker Jakub Vrana, who will not be back until sometime after the New Year. But the central Pennsylvania still counts on veteran star Chris Bourque, the 29-year-old winger who spent just one season at Boston University before turning pro more than a decade ago. The undersized Bourque (5’8″ 180 lbs) leads the Bears in scoring this fall with 15 points from 18 AHL games.
Paul Carey, the 27-year-old winger who lit the lamp 45 times in four seasons at Boston College before joining the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters in the spring of 2012, leads the Brown Team in goal-scoring this season having found the back of the net eight times in 18 AHL games thus far; Carey has four goals in his last four games including one in each of his last two contests.
Categories: Phantoms Hockey