Pre-Season Game Day: Penguins at Bears – 10/3

100315_MatchupA little bit of a delay today in getting this published, but I just had to see how Army could possibly still be in the game against my alma mater….and how Purdue just might shock Michigan State…….

No, seriously though.  The delay was waiting for word off the waiver wire.  Veteran center Zach Sill has cleared, and is now officially reassigned to the Chocolate and White, along with Connor Carrick, who was reassigned yesterday.

Cut after Thursday night’s game was defenseman Joey Leach, who reports to ECHL South Carolina.

(While I think about it – thoughts are with everyone in the Palmetto State today.  That rain looks awful.)

The roster, available here, now stands at 23 players heading into tonight’s tilt with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – a 7:00 PM battle here at the GC.  One thing you’ll notice is that today is Dustin Gazley’s birthday.  Happiest of days to a great guy!

Now, from the morning skate, the expected lineup that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face.  Note that during the regular season, you won’t see this – only some practice combinations, and those players staying on the ice later on the day of a morning skate (which, 99 times out of 100, indicates that night’s scratches).  Here it is:

(28) Carey – (15) Boyd – (17) Bourque
(21) Vrana – (18) Camper – (13) Barber
(10) Gazley – (14) Fyten – (36) Mitchell
(12) Walker – (19) Sauve – (40) Herbert

(4) Djoos – (37) Lewington
(6) Moore – (7) Bowey
(2) Shea – (34) Burgdoerfer

(31) Ellis
(30) Vanecek

Ellis is expected to play the entire game in net for the Bears.  We will catch up with him after tonight’s contest to talk about one of his first-ever games as a member of the Eastern Conference.

A few things to note on the roster tonight.  First, defenseman Tyler Lewington is wearing #37, as Carrick will don his usual #25.  Carrick won’t play, and Sill hasn’t arrived in town yet.

But that’s not the most obivous thing, is it??  Of course not.  Chris Bourque will make his return to the Bears’ lineup.  Even though it is pre-season, it’s a big deal.  Mike Moore also makes his 2015 Bears debut – having only played in one game in Washington’s camp, this is big for the veteran, since his next game will be next Saturday’s regular season opener at Springfield.  Not a lot of time to get into game shape with that schedule, is it?

One thing I remember most about W-B/Scranton’s pre-season game here last year was the blind-side hit placed on Caleb Herbert by northeastern PA native Patrick McGrath.  Looks like both are in the lineup tonight.

After Hershey takes morning skates, the coaching staff often engages in a (friendly?) “Game to 5” against players not in that night’s lineup.  Today, Carrick, Moore and Bourque took on head coach Troy Mann, assistant coach Bryan Helmer and assistant coach Ryan Murphy.  Taran Kozun was the goaltender.   Having lost 5-0 to the player trio on Thursday, Mann said that “today, we have to be better.  Especially Helmer.”

Mann and Murphy scored for Team Coach, but Bourque et al. took them down by a count of 5-2.  Mann said that the coaches were indeed much better.  I won’t go any further into his comments on his teammates.

The puck drops at 7.  Hope to see you here!