The Penguins Get… 5/1

Greetings from the GC!

To the BEST, LOUDEST, and AHL-LEADING fan base attendance-wise, THANK YOU.  That’s how tonight needs to start.  The Bears players, coaches and staff alike all need to send a sincere thanks to the crowd that was here last night.  Two nights after a triple-overtime heartbreaker, nearly 9,000 were in the Den and were standing after every good play that was made.

The goal by Travis Boyd.  LOUD.

The power-play goal by Chris Bourque and the ensuing center-ice hug with Zach Sill, Carter Camper and Bourque.  LOUDER.

Shot block after shot block on a Portland five-on-three – Garrett Mitchell, Sill, Ryan Bourque.  EVEN LOUDER.

Ryan Bourque rolls the puck out of the Hershey zone with less than six seconds to play in regulation.  LOUDER STILL.

Final horn.  Center ice stick salute.  Justin Peters announced as first star.  LOUDEST YET.

There is no denying that the fans were into it, and there is no denying that the players fed off of it.

Game five is 2 1/2 hours away and it’s all thanks to the fans that it is.

I cannot fathom that Troy Mann would make any lineup changes, but without a morning meeting today – a chance for the team to rest up – nothing is positive just yet.  We will have some information within the 3:00 hour on that.  I can tell you that everybody on the Hershey side came out of that battle unscathed.  Portland defenseman Dylan Olsen did not, and I have to guess is unavailable tonight.  To me, that gives the Pirates a slight edge as they will get fresh body on their blue line, one of (again, a guess) either Sena Acolatse or Mackenzie Weegar.  Both played in last Saturday’s game two, but that only because crafty Mike Matheson was still on NHL duty with the Florida Panthers.

Very simple recipe tonight: win, and move on to play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  Today’s demeanor was a lot less lively than yesterday, and that’s a good thing.  Focus is paramount.

The results will come.

Game notes are set right here, which includes broadcast information as well.  Caps Radio 24/7 will pick up the broadcast as well for all of you who crave the organizational fix (Caps and Stingrays are both off tonight).  It’s the only AHL game in town, as all other teams await the start of the second round.

Join AHL and Hershey Hall-of-Famer Mitch Lamoureux, Frank Schofield and I for the call beginning at 4:20.  The puck drops at 5:00.