02/20/2009 - The BEARS look to rebound Saturday, returning home to face the Philadelphia Phantoms at GIANT Center. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m.
The Rochester Americans stunned the BEARS with two late goals Friday night as the Amerks defeated HERSHEY 3-2. Graham Mink and Chris Bourque each scored power play goals to lift the Chocolate and White to a 2-1 third period lead, but Michael Duco and Stefan Meyer would score just 49 seconds apart late in the third to rally Rochester for the win. HERSHEY won at Syracuse Monday, but has lost five of its last six games in regulation as play opens against Philadelphia this evening. Goaltender Daren Machesney suffered the setback, making just 15 saves.
Philadelphia is trying to rally for a Calder Cup playoff berth in this, its final season playing at the Spectrum. The Phantoms are in fifth place in the East Division with 24 games to play, trailing the fourth place Binghamton Senators by four points. Philly is 5-5-0-0 in its last 10 games, winning last night over the Portland Pirates 7-2 at the corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. The Phantoms will play its final regular season game ever here at GIANT Center on Saturday, April 11, one night after the BEARS play the final regular season game in Spectrum history on April 10.
Around the East Division Saturday, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who begin play just one point behind the BEARS for first place in the East Division, travel to Hamilton Saturday to face the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum. The Penguins also possess two games in hand on HERSHEY, with both teams off on Sunday. Bridgeport is in Springfield Sunday to face the Falcons, the team with the fewest wins in the AHL so far this season (17). Binghamton and Norfolk conclude a two-game series at Norfolk Scope Saturday. The Admirals took the first game Friday 5-2. The Albany River Rats are out of action until Wednesday, after a bus crash sent four players and their broadcaster to the hospital. Former BEARS defenseman Jonathan Paiement was among the four players who were admitted after Albany's team bus slid and crashed on the Massachusetts Turnpike early Thursday morning. As of Friday, three of the four players along with broadcaster John Hennessy had been released from the Pittsfield, MA hospital. Albany's scheduled games with Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this weekend have been postponed until March. The Rats will get back to action this Wednesday night with a game in Bridgeport at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
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 Saturday's home game with Philadelphia by calling or visiting the GIANT Center box office at (717) 534-3911.