01/14/2009 - The second half of the 2008-09 season officially begins Wednesday night as the BEARS host the Albany River Rats at GIANT Center. The game also marks the final meeting of the regular season between the two clubs. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
HERSHEY continues its busiest month of the season Wednesday, and starts the second half as the American Hockey League's best team in terms of wins, points and winning percentage. The Chocolate and White have dropped two straight games however entering play Wednesday night after a loss in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Sunday. HERSHEY has never lost three in a row this season.
Albany, who had dropped four straight games to HERSHEY prior to a win at GIANT Center this past Saturday night, resides in seventh place in the East Division, 22 points behind the BEARS in the standings.
Around the East Division Wednesday, Bridgeport travels up Interstate 91 to face the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center at 7:00 p.m. The Sound Tigers begin play Wednesday five points behind HERSHEY in the standings. Philadelphia, with Daniel Briere down from the Flyers on a two-game conditioning sting, faces the Worcester Sharks at the Wachovia Spectrum Wednesday night. Rochester skates at Binghamton Wednesday, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Norfolk enjoy a Wednesday night off.
Wednesday's game can be heard via the BEARS Radio Network (100.1 FM, 1490 AM, Sportsjuice.com, AHLLive.com) beginning with the pregame show at 6:40 p.m. John Walton has the call of the action from GIANT Center. Following a trip to Bridgeport Friday to meet the Sound Tigers, the BEARS return to GIANT Center this weekend to face Philadelphia and Worcester. Tickets are still available for Wednesday's game with Albany by calling or visiting the GIANT Center box office at (717) 534-3911. Worcester's lineup features four-time Stanley Cup champion Claude Lemieux on its roster.