10/18/2008 - BEARS CRUSH THE CRUNCH TO REMAIN PERFECT
By: John Walton
The home crowd wasn't disappointed Saturday night as the BEARS flattened the Syracuse Crunch 7-1 in the club's 71st home opener. The win was HERSHEY'S fifth straight to begin 2008-09.
Andrew Gordon didn't waste much time in scoring his fourth goal of the season Saturday night. Gordon briefly pulled into a tie in the first period with Graham Mink for HERSHEY'S goal scoring lead with his fourth of the season just 2:34 into the contest. The marker gave the BEARS a 1-0 lead. Mink then retook the goal lead with his fifth of the year at 10:36 with help from Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux. HERSHEY led it 2-0 late in the first when veteran Mike York scored a power play goal at 17:36. Despite the late goal, the BEARS took a 2-1 lead into first intermission.
The Chocolate and White started to pull away in the second, scoring twice to take a 4-1 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes. Giroux scored his fourth goal of the year just 47 seconds into the second against Syracuse backstop Sebastien Dahm, and Keith Aucoin bookended that with his third goal of the year at 13:35. HERSHEY fired 15 second period shots at Dahm, while Syracuse got just seven against Daren Machesney. The third period finished off the runaway win, with Giroux scoring his second of the night, Francois Bouchard scoring his second goal of the season and Sami Lepisto finding the back of the net for the first time in 2008-09. Machesney won his third game of the year without defeat, and the BEARS maintain the best record in the AHL at 5-0-0-0.
Notes: The second game of the current four-game road trip will be Sunday with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in town at 5:00 p.m. Grant McNeill played on the second forward line Saturday with Kyle Wilson and Andrew Gordon. Tickets are available for Sunday's game at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Alexandre Giroux (Two goals and a ton of chances)
2. Keith Aucoin (Your AHL scoring leader with three more points Saturday)
3. Graham Mink (Tied with Giroux for the AHL's goal scoring lead)