Good morning fans!
First of all, let’s get you primed up for a busy weekend of hockey as the Bears get set for their short trip to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight:
So November is upon us – and that means a heaping helping of Hershey Bears hockey is on the menu. After just six – yes, six – games spanning the first four weeks of the season, tonight will be the first of 12 that the Bears will play in the next 29 days. That’s an average of one game every 2.5 days. So it’s safe to say that the times of having six days in between games are over!
Does that bode well for the Chocolate and White? Absolutely. Every player to whom I’ve spoken attributes the hit-and-miss October to the slow start out of the gate. The best players in the world can only practice so much, and can only get so much out of such a stuttering rhythm. Forward Jamie Johnson and I sat down this morning to discuss just that, and to talk about the upcoming busy month – which starts with what he referred to as a “statement weekend.” That interview will play in tonight’s first intermission from Wilkes-Barre Township.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton started the season very impressively, getting points in their first seven games. But, the team has dropped two straight – a shootout loss at Binghamton last Friday and their first regulation loss of the season at the hands of the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday. The team is mad, and wants the top spot in the AHL – which they held just over a week ago – back in their possession.
For the Bears, it is a chance at an eight-point swing. The home-and-home starts tonight in the building that saw the Penguins claim a 3-1 home-opener victory on October 12. The two teams meet for the first time this season at GIANT Center tomorrow. If anything, a win tonight will boost the confidence of a squad that should be confident – the team won two of their past three games and scored 11 goals in that span. The Bears have the best road penalty kill (17/18, 94/4%) in the AHL. And, as head coach Mike Haviland alluded to in this morning’s interview with me, “I really like the way we’ve played. In the past three games, we outchanced all of the teams. I like the way we’ve played, and I really liked the week we had at practice.” Coming from a blatantly honest coach, fans should be excited for the start of this month.
I firmly believe we’ll see the true Bears team that was assembled come shining starting tonight.
Goaltending matchups, scratches, starters and in-game updates can be found @ScottStuccio on Twitter. @TheHersheyBears will also have goal and period updates.
Pre-game hits the air at 6:25, followed by a 7:05 PM puck drop.
Be sure to keep checking here all season long and at HersheyBears.com for the latest on the most storied franchise in the AHL. And, be sure to keep tuned for information on how you can help support a great cause as the Bears take part in “Movember” once again – a movement that brings awareness to men’s health.