I mean, Bears.
The Phantoms, fresh off nice road wins in Utica and Wilkes-Barre, head down I-81 to face the rival Bears. Can they keep up their winning ways? Can Stolie the Goalie continue to carry this team–now .500 on the year–to the land of Calder?
der Eishockeyzuschauer takes a look at tonight’s game:
It’s been a little over a month since those whiteboarding Lehigh Valley Phantoms last appeared in Chocolate Town. With that in mind, it should be rather interesting to hear how supporters of The Brown Team greet our Hamilton Street Heroes tonight in central Pennsylvania. As it stands now, the 11-time Calder Cup champions have lost two of this season’s three contests against their intra-state rival from the Eastern PA city which was named after that well-known Tory William Allen, even if both of those defeats arrived via the gimmicky shootout (read, not real ice hockey).The inconsistent Hershey Bears, who occupy third place in the Atlantic Division of the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference at present, are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak although two of those three losses in question have only come after a shootout; on the subject of such, it is very interesting to note that Hershey have lost all five of the shootouts that they have participated in so far this season..The Brown Team have been suffering as a result of the injury bug in recent weeks. No fewer than four key Bears have been on the shelf including Czech import Jakub Vrana, the talented 19-year-old left wing who was the 1st round pick (# 13 overall) of the Washington Captials at the 2014 NHL Draft and labeled as Hershey’s second-most dangerous player by none other than head coach Troy Mann. Stay-at-home defenseman Ryan Stanton, the experienced 26-year-old who spent the previous two seasons skating exclusively for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, is another whose absence seems to have had some kind of impact on the Bears’ last three performances. Surely, Hershey would rather have team captain Garrett Mitchell and Liam O’Brien, who had been comprising a very effective checking line with NHL veteran Zach Sill, in uniform, as well..Chris Bourque (21 ga, 6 go, 16 pts, 16 pen, + 6 def), the veteran minor league scoring star from Boston University who has already racked up 515 career points in the American Hockey League, has registered but a single assist in Hershey’s last four games and needs to get it cranked up again for the Bears to be successful..The Phantoms franchise (being it based in Adirondack or Allentown) have not won a 60-minute ice hockey game in at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in well more than five years. The Phantoms have recorded just two overtime victories and one win via the shootout against 15 losses on their last 18 visits to Chocolate Town. The last time the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL farm club won a game at the Giant Center was way back on March 21, 2010.
- Old friend Austin Fyten was a -1 in last night’s shoot-out loss in Hartford.
- Well-known sniper and Phantom-killer Stanislav Galiev is up with Washington, where he’s getting between 9-12 minutes a game when he plays, and is a +2.
As we go to (Word)Press, news that Nick Cousins and Colin McDonald will re-join the Phantoms. They are expected to join the team in Hershey, but final confirmation could not be obtained. Stay tuned on SoMe for updates in advance of tonight’s game in Hershey. The Phan Nation Phan Club will be in the Giant Center tonight as they have their first bus-trip of the season!
See you at the arena WEDNESDAY!