WBS Penguins Gameday: Penguins vs. Bears

Last Game Recap:
Syracuse’s Brent Regner scored only 1:48 into the game on a power play, and the Crunch never looked back as they skated to a 5-2 victory over the Penguins on Friday night. Nick Holden added a goal at 12:01 to give the Crunch a 2-0 lead at the end of the period.

The Penguins were able to get on the board during the second period thanks to a Mark Letestu goal at 14:58, but Syracuse once again came out flying for the closing period. Chad Kolarik (power play) and Dan Fritsche (shorthanded) tallied special teams goals for Syracuse. Zach Sill added a goal at 19:52 but the game was already out of reach. Brendan Bell tallied the other goal for Syracuse; who won their third straight game. John Curry took the loss with 22 saves on 27 shots.

Three Stars of the Game:
3. Brent Regner (Syracuse): two points (1+1)
2. Kevin Lalande (Syracuse): 35 saves on 37 shots
1. Derek Mackenzie (Syracuse): four assists, +1

Steve Wagner
Joey Haddad
Ryan Bayda
Keven Veilleux

WBS Current Record: 31-28-1-2 (65 points; fourth in East Division)

News and Notes:
Last night’s game concluded the regular season series between the Penguins and the Crunch. The Penguins won the series five games to three.

Next Matchup:
Who: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Hershey Bears
When: Saturday March 6, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Where: Giant Center (Hershey, PA)

Last Meeting Recap:
Hershey took a 2-1 shootout victory from the Penguins on February 28th. Ben Lovejoy and Kyle Wilson scored in regulation; with Mathieu Perreault, Keith Aucoin, and Alex Giroux scoring in the shootout to give the Bears the win. Mark Letestu and Wyatt Smith scored in the shootout for the Penguins.

About the Bears:

NHL Affiliate: Washington Capitals
ECHL Affiliate: South Carolina Stingrays

Key Statistics/Rank in AHL:
Record: 47-12-0-2 (96 points; first in East Division)
Power Play Home: 24.7% (1st)
Power Play Overall: 21.6% (1st)
Penalty Kill at Home: 91.2% (1st)
Penalty Kill Overall: 88.5% (1st)
Goals For/Against: 263/147

Last Game: 6-3 win over Bridgeport on Tuesday. Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque led the Bears with three point games. Rookie defenseman John Carlson had two assists and a +2 rating.

Fast Fact: Hershey has not lost at home since November 28th in a shootout. Their last regulation loss at the Giant Center came back on November 25th.

The Penguin Connection:
Deryk Engelland played 81 games with Hershey from 2005-2007 and was a member of the 2006 Calder Cup championship team. He recorded 14 points (4+10) in those two seasons.

Chris Bourque played 20 games with Pittsburgh this season after being claimed off waivers by the Penguins. He had three assists and 10 penalty minutes before being picked up by Washington again.

Bears to Watch:
Bryan Helmer has a +5 rating over Hershey’s last four games and is a +27 this season.

Keith Aucoin is the AHL’s top scorer with 80 points (21+59) this season. He is also tied for the league lead in assists.

Ali’s Analysis:
There is not much to say about Hershey that hasn’t already been said this season. However, last night’s game showed that when it comes to the Penguins, old habits are very hard to break. A slow start against a team who is extremely dominant at home will dig the Pens more than the 2-0 hole they dug for themselves against Syracuse. Hopefully the Penguins had been saving their energy for tonight’s game and will come out flying.

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