Greetings from a foggy Interstate 81. I guess one could start a blog post like that about 87% of the year, no?
Anyway, it’s almost time to drop the puck on a rivalry that has been put on the back burner since Boxing Day. Back then, the Bears boxed up a 5-0 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, behind a 22-save performance from Dan Ellis, goals from five different players, a 5-for-5 penalty kill and two power play tallies.
The Bears have a 9-1 lead over the Penguins in two games at GIANT Center.
However, the Penguins have a 10-2 lead over the Bears in two games at Mohegan Sun Arena – a place that is turning into the Syracuse War Memorial.
Tonight, Hershey is looking to snap a six-game winless skid at the Casino, where the club’s last win was recorded on December 6, 2014. The final was 2-1. It was actually Hershey’s only win that season at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Steve Oleksy set up the game-winning goal (he came into play a lot against the Penguins, didn’t he?). Chris Conner scored twice. Pheonix Copley made 28 saves. Seven players on that night’s playing roster are still with the Bears.
The last truly decisive win that I could find in this building came back on December 27, 2012. The Bears won that game 4-1. It has been a haunted mansion ever since. There was even a time when Hershey scored five goals, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton still won (February 25, 2014 – almost two years to the day).
My point is, there comes a time when skids are broken – and are broken with determination and ferocity. Those words have to come into the Bears’ game plan. I have to tell you, I like the team’s odds this time around. Don’t underestimate the injury- and recall-riddled Penguins, though. They are at the top of the division for a reason.
But the Bears are due. No more motivation is needed for this game.
Notes are here. I’ll talk to y’all at 6:25 on the HBRN and worldwide on Caps Radio 24/7.