Greetings from Mile One Centre!
The Hershey Bears and St. John’s IceCaps are all set for their 2:30 PM rematch today. Neither team had a full morning skate (the Bears didn’t skate at all) with the one-hour time change taking place overnight.
In chatting with head coach Troy Mann and forward Sean Collins earlier today, both felt that the game really wasn’t “lost” – moreso, IceCaps goaltender Eddie Pasquale won the game. The real kicker happened with about 10 seconds left in the game, when Travis Boyd was the recipient of a bouncing rebound while he stared at a practically open net. I had called his shot as one that went wide, but in careful review of the video, Pasquale somehow, some way got his shoulder on the shot while getting up from a prone position. It was the save of the game, for sure – and one that garnered him well-deserved first-star honors.
It just hurts to have to write a “1” in the statistic “when allowing two or fewer goals”. Yes, that was the first time all season that Hershey dropped a 2-1 decision. The team is now 26-1-0-0 in the category.
Today, it’s Justin Peters’ turn in net. I’m sure Mann would have gone back with Ellis had this not been an afternoon game, and had we not lost an hour of rest. If the Bears play even tighter defensively than they did yesterday and keep shots coming from the perimeter and long-range, the team will be fine. The Bears also need to figure a way to box-out towering John Scott and let Peters see.
Ryan Stanton is expected to be a game-time decision, as he blocked a hard shot in the second period yesterday. He did play the rest of the game, but obviously there are after-effects after doing such hard labor.
Regardless of Stanton’s availability, Mike Moore will slot back in. If Stanton can go, the Bears will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Ryan Bourque would be the veteran scratch if Stanton can play.
Puck drop is in less than one hour, radio pre-game is at 1:50.