Greetings from Binghamton, where the Bears have arrived to play their last road game of the regular season.
I just do not know where time goes, and I say this each and every year. It seems like yesterday we were battling through the first four games on the road in Springfield, Portland and Utica. And here we are at road game 38, ready to face a team that – although having been mathematically eliminated over two weeks ago – will certainly be giving it their best against a Hershey team loaded with more goals to achieve.
What goes are those?
- 20 road wins. The team is 19-13-3-2 currently, and it’s almost uncanny how close the record is to last year at this time. For the past two months, the Bears’ road record was within one shootout loss of identical. So what’s the reason behind 20 road wins as a goal? Head coach Troy Mann believes that to be a good benchmark that would define having as much home-ice advantage as possible in the playoffs. There are five teams with 20 wins both at home and away – Hershey could become the sixth.
- The Atlantic Division title. That’s an obvious goal. It would be Hershey’s second straight, and first with the new eight-team division format.
- 100 points. A weekend sweep would give Hershey another 100-point season. Without looking past tonight, that would be an awesome addition to the coaching staff resumes – considering how much of a variety this lineup has.
Dan Ellis gets the start for Hershey, while Matt O’Connor is expected for Binghamton. The Bears are 6-1-0-0 in the seven games so far, and this building has been very kind to them. But expect a push. Binghamton will be looking to spoil.
The Bears will also have the league MVP pushing for the scoring title as well. Congratulations to Chris Bourque. I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store.