01/16/2009 - History could be made Saturday night at GIANT Center as the BEARS return home to face the Philadelphia Phantoms at 7:00 p.m. HERSHEY is in search of its 30th win of the season, and Alexandre Giroux is chasing an AHL record that has stood for almost 22 years.
The BEARS rallied to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday night 5-3 at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Giroux scored two goals to pace HERSHEY'S offense, and in doing so scored at least one goal in his 13th consecutive game. The streak is already a HERSHEY record for longest goal streak, but Giroux can tie Brett Hull's AHL record with a goal on Saturday. Hull scored in 14 straight for the Moncton Golden Flames in January and February, 1987. Giroux can equal the feat with a goal against Philadelphia Saturday. Francois Bouchard scored a goal and assisted on two others Friday to help lead the BEARS to victory. Goaltender Daren Machesney earned his 11th victory of the season, stopping a personal season high 36 shots.
Giroux also reached the 30-goal plateau Friday in the win at Bridgeport, marking the fifth consecutive season he has scored 30 or more goals in a single season. Giroux is tied with several AHL players, including former HERSHEY forwards Brian Dobbin and Don Biggs, for third all-time in AHL history for consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals. The record, held by former Rochester forward Dick Gamble, is seven straight seasons at that level. Giroux scored a career-high 42 goals with HERSHEY during the 2006-07 season.
Around the East Division Saturday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton travels to Albany to face the River Rats at Times Union Center. The Penguins begin the night in third place in the East Division, eight points behind division leading HERSHEY. Bridgeport, fresh off a home loss to the BEARS Friday night, is in Binghamton to face the Senators at 7:05 p.m. Norfolk hosts Worcester in the second game of a two-game series at Norfolk Scope in Hampton Roads Saturday.
Saturday'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 and Ed Coffey have the call of the action from GIANT Center. Tickets are still available for both Saturday and Sunday's game 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. The Sharks will be in town on Sunday afternoon.