Good morning from the other side of Border Control!
A few transaction notes to pass along this morning from Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, where the BEARS will soon be arriving for morning skate in preparation for their final meeting of the season against the Bulldogs.
First, forward Matt Pope was summoned from the Reading Royals earlier this week. In case you haven’t seen the ECHL transactions list since the NHL lockout ended, check it out. It will explain why you have been seeing “bubble players” traveling an awful lot lately. Rough guess is that there are 12-13 such transactions per day.
Forward T.J. Syner has also been returned to Reading as of this morning.
The main reason for that? The BEARS now have an abundance of forwards thanks to two returning from the injury list. Evan Barlow and Mattias Sjogren both made the trip to Canada and both are expected to play at some point this weekend. Barlow has been out since suffering a lower-body injury in a game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 11, while Sjogren suffered an upper-body injury on January 13 against Connecticut.
As for tonight’s matchup, no one is taking the Hamilton Bulldogs as the last team in the AHL. The club defeated their division-rival Toronto Marlies recently, they defeated the AHL-best Texas Stars and they defeated the BEARS in their only meeting of the season on December 8.
One area where the Bulldogs will look different is in goal. Cedrick Desjardins (who we saw at the restaurant at which we ate dinner last night) was dealt to Tampa Bay in exchange for 2012 Calder Cup winner Dustin Tokarski yesterday. The two are simply swapping AHL cities.
The BEARS take their 12-6-0-1 road record across the border, looking to pile up the points on a stretch that will see six of the next seven played away from the GC confines.
Air time tonight is 6:50 PM, puck drops from Copps at 7:30. Game notes are coming shortly.