The Hershey Bears (34-25-4-4) picked up two big wins last weekend at Giant Center, giving them a shot at redemption following a troubling past few weeks. They’ll venture on a five game road trip beginning this week, with three extremely winnable away contests against Portland, Worcester and Bridgeport.
Recently assigned young forward Chris Brown will face his former team for the first time on Tuesday, following his trade to the Washington Capitals organization in the Martin Erat trade. Brown has flipped between Washington and Hershey since the deal and the road trip will give Brown to bond with his Bears’ teammates.
— Scott Stuccio (@ScottStuccio) March 31, 2014
After three games this week, the Bears, who currently trail the Norfolk Admirals by one standings point for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, play five of their final six games against current playoff teams. Washington’s AHL affiliate has just two games remaining in their home building, finishing up with their matchup against the Adirondack Phantoms April 19th in their season finale.
Goaltender David Leggio has seemingly emerged as the Bears number one net minder as they push for postseason play as he received both starts at Giant Center this weekend. Leggio’s save percentage has improved to .915 on the season, just three ticks higher than Grubauer’s (.912). The former Rochester Americans goalie has notched 41 games this season compared to Grubauer’s 23, but the uptick in games played is due to the appearance in the NHL earlier this season by the German born net minder. First-year Bears coach Mike Haviland has stated that he’ll use the hot hand in net as the playoffs approach.
Read below for a preview of Hershey’s games this week, with some relevant articles from the Bears’ media.
April 2nd at Portland
- Record: 24-32-2-8, 58 points, 14th in Eastern Conference
- Power Play: 21% (8th)
- Penalty Kill: 82.6% (13th)
- Goals per Game: 3.08 (12th)
- Goals Against per Game: 3.67 (30th)
- Goalies: Louis Domingue (9-11-2, 3.52 GAA, .896 SV %), Mike Lee (0-2-1, 3.81 GAA, .872 SV %) and Chris Rawlings (1-2-0, 3.34 GAA, .887 SV %)
- Offensive Leaders: Andy Miele (65 points), Lucas Lessio (48), Tobias Rieder (42) and Daine Todd (32)
April 5th at Worcester
- Record: 33-30-3-1, 70 points, 10th in Eastern Conference
- Power Play: 15.9% (22nd)
- Penalty Kill: 82.3% (17th)
- Goals per Game: 2.58 (24th)
- Goals Against per Game: 3.00 (19th)
- Goalies: Harri Sateri (17-22-1, 2.95 GAA, .891 SV %) and Troy Grosenick (16-11-0, 2.74 GAA, .900 SV %)
- Offensive Leaders: Freddie Hamilton (37), Dan DaSilva (35), Travis Oleksuk (32) and Daniil Tarasov (31)
April 6th vs. Bridgeport
- Record: 27-33-2-5, 61 points, 13th in Eastern Conference
- Power Play: 15.3% (26th)
- Penalty Kill: 81% (20th)
- Goals per Game: 2.51 (26th)
- Goals Against per Game: 3.15 (27th)
- Goalies: Kenny Reiter (10-10-2, 3.04 GAA, .897 SV %) and Kevin Poulin (1-8-1, 2.78 GAA, .901 SV %)
- Offensive Leaders: Andrew Clark (19), Scott Mayfield (17), Aaron Ness (16) and Chris Langkow (15)
- Philipp Grubauer on his rise to the Capitals early in his career [Lebanon Daily News]
- Updates on the injured Nate Schmidt and Garrett Mitchell [Patriot News]
- The Hershey Bears defense has improved drastically over the past few weeks [The Hockey Writers]
Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He provides coverage of both Washington at the NHL level and prospect related content. Matthew also covers local sports for the Lebanon Daily News in Central Pennsylvania. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.