Top of the Mountain in Sight – 4/9

Greetings from the GC!

After a 5-1 trouncing of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night here at the Den, the next opponent in the sight lines of the Hershey Bears is yet another team that has frustrated the Bears in the latter portion of the season series – most especially in the last game played here.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are that team.

The Bears held leads of 2-1, 3-2 and 5-3 back on March 20 but couldn’t hold those leads.  The Penguins struck for two third-period goals to tie the contest, setting up an overtime that was claimed when Will O’Neill banged in a rebound for a 6-5 decision.

The Bears dropped the first two games of the series in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, went back to northeastern PA and stole a game (part of a four-game win streak against the rivals), and have now dropped their last three straight.

The plan is simple: win tonight in regulation.  That takes the Bears to the near-peak of the Atlantic Division mountain.  Win tomorrow, and the division title is Hershey’s for second consecutive season.

Tonight you’ll see Dylan Margonari taking warmups.  I have to believe that Troy Mann is doing the same thing he did with Jonas Siegenthaler on the last visit to Mohegan Sun Arena – give the rookie a chance to get into game-mode.  Kevin Elgestal was out there already last weekend.  If the Bears happen to nab the division, their next goal is to try to finish ahead of the Albany Devils to really ensure the longest duration of home-ice advantage in the postseason.  If that is not possible, then perhaps we will see the AHL debuts of Elgestal and Margonari.

Goaltender Adam Carlson has been faring pretty well here lately too.  His practices show an awful lot of quickness.  He may not be the biggest in covering the top portion of the net, but quickness certainly offsets that in my eyes.

On to the game at hand.  You can find game notes right here.  This morning, Mann said that Nathan Walker is a game-time decision.  If he can go, the lineup will be exactly the same as last night – and that includes Dan Ellis, who will go back-to-back  on consecutive nights for the first time since March 4 and 5.  If not, expect Carter Camper to slot in, which takes Mike Moore out because of the veteran issue, which also inserts Tyler Lewington into the lineup for the first time in three long weeks.  The rookie is chomping at the bit to play and tonight would be as good a time as any against the physical Penguins.

The pre-game hits the air at 6:20 on WQIC-FM 100.1, WKBO-AM 1230, WOYK-AM 1350, online at WHP580.com or via the iHeartRadio App (WHP 580 AM).

We are NO LONGER ON WTKT-AM 1460 with the Harrisburg Senators’ season having begun.  That means you won’t find us on iHeartRadio Fox Sports 1460 either.  You have to switch stations.

I also have no intern here tonight so in-game updates will be out.  Follow @ScottStuccio on Twitter for those.

GO BEARS!!
-Stucc