After defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-1 to close out their first round, the Hershey Bears look to open the East Divisional finals against the Albany River Rats. The series features a 2-2-1-1-1 format, with the series' first set of games featured as a back-to-back at Giant Center in Hershey, PA this Saturday and Sunday. Read on, as our expert gives you a look at how the Bears have played thusfar and what we're to expect from from the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate.
Game 1: Saturday April 24th Albany at Hershey – 7pm
Game 2: Sunday April 25th Albany at Hershey – 5pm
Game 3: Tuesday April 27th Hershey at Albany – 7pm
Game 4: Thursday April 29th Hershey at Albany – 7pm
Game 5: Saturday May 1st Albany at Hershey – 7pm*
Game 6: Monday May 3rd Hershey at Albany – 7pm*
Game 7: Wednesday May 5th Albany at Hershey – 7pm*
Amping up Albany:
At the conclusion of Carolina’s season, the Hurricanes reassigned 6 players to Albany, giving the Rats’ lineup an instant boost. Those reassigned are defensemen Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison, and Bryan Rodney; and forwards Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, and Jerome Samson.
And we thought we had power play problems:
Albany swept Wilkes-Barre Scranton (the Baby Pens) in 4 games in the opening round of the playoffs. In those 4 games, Albany went 0 for 20 on the Power Play and 15 for 17 on the Penalty Kill. Three of those games were decided by one goal, and the fourth game would have been with the exception of an Albany empty net goal late in the 3rd.
The Ones to Watch:
Former Bear and Washington Draft Pick Oskar Osala managed only 1 goal and 1 assist in the series. Albany goalie Justin Peters played all 4 games and made 114 saves on 123 shots for a .927 save percentage.
The River Rats’ scoring has been balanced, as they have 4 players tied with 4 points for the lead in team scoring (Jamie McBain, Nick Dodge, Mike Angelidis, and Chris Terry).
If You’re Making the Trip North:
Tickets can be found on ticketmaster or by calling 717-508-BEAR. And don’t forget, the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey is offering an $89.00 rate for RtR readers headed up to take in a game or two. Just call the hotel directly at 717-564-5511 and ask for in-house reservations and then for the Hershey Bears Fan rate.
Bears Leaders after Round 1:
Alexandre Giroux 6 goals
Andrew Gordon 4 goals
Mathieu Perreault 2 goals
Kyle Wilson 2 goals
Keith Aucoin 7 assists
Chris Bourque 4 assists
Patrick Wellar 3 assists (Giroux, Perreault, & Wilson each have 3 assists)
Bryan Helmer +4
Kyle Wilson +4
6 players tied with +3 (Giroux, Gordon, Perreault, Bouchard, Pinizzotto, Kane)
Chris Bourque 33
Alexandre Giroux 17
Francois Bouchard 11
Andrew Gordon 11
Michal Neuvirth 61 saves on 66 shots, .924 S % and 3 Wins in 3 Games Played
Braden Holtby 45 saves on 52 shots, .865 S % and 1 Win in 2 Games Played