01/04/2009 - GIROUX SCORES FOUR AS BEARS MAUL SHARKS
By: John Walton
An unforgettable night for a BEARS forward led to another big offensive show on the road Sunday at Worcester, as HERSHEY lowered the boom on the Sharks 7-2 at the DCU Center. The win gave the Chocolate and White the best record in the AHL as of January 4, handing the Canadian AHL All-Star coaching duties to Bob Woods and Mark French.
For the second night in a row, it didn't take Alexandre Giroux long to figure into the offense. Giroux fired a shot past Worcester goaltender Taylor Dakers and into the back of the net just 15 seconds into the first period. With HERSHEY leading 1-0 late in the first period, Worcester's Lukas Kaspar popped home a power play goal at 18:01 to even the score at a goal apiece after one.
The second period saw the BEARS pull away, scoring four times to take a 5-2 lead. Keith Aucoin scored his 13th goal of the season at 4:25 to give HERSHEY a lead it would never relinquish. Giroux picked up his second of the game at 7:50 from Aucoin, which was followed by Worcester's Ryan Vesce's 12th goal of the season at 11:16 of the middle period. The Sharks would not find the net again the rest of the game, and the BEARS went on a scoring frenzy. Steve Pinizzotto scored his third goal in three games at 15:09, and Giroux picked up his third goal of the night shorthanded in the closing seconds of the second at 19:50.
The game only became more lopsided in the third, and Giroux elevated his game to a level only Chris Bourque has experienced in a BEARS uniform since 1992. Giroux scored his fourth goal of the game at 3:28 of the third, and Aucoin picked up his 14th at 17:12 to round out the scoring. For the weekend, Giroux notched nine points in less than 24 hours, scoring five goals and assisting on four others. Goaltender Simeon Varlamov picked up another win in net for the BEARS, making a career-high 35 saves.
Notes: The BEARS will return home for one day before boarding the bus Tuesday for Norfolk, Virginia. HERSHEY will conclude the current five-game road trip Wednesday against the Admirals at Norfolk Scope at 7:15 p.m. The Chocolate and White will then return to GIANT Center for a pair of home games this Friday and Saturday as Houston and Albany come to town. Tickets for both games this weekend are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911. Quintin Laing missed Sunday's game due to injury, and Dean Arsene was given the day off at the end of three games in three nights in New England. Bourque scored four goals on March 29, 2008 at home against Hamilton.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Alexandre Giroux (One of the best performances by a Bear in perhaps a generation, with four goals, five points, and nine points in two games)
2. Keith Aucoin (Best player in the ice in the non Giroux category, two goals, two assists)
3. Graham Mink (Two assists to round out a terrific night for the Big 3)