03/10/2009 - HERSHEY kicks off a three-game homestand Wednesday night against the Springfield Falcons. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m.
Following a 6-1 win in Toronto Saturday afternoon, the BEARS fell to the Lake Erie Monsters 6-3 Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland. Former HERSHEY forward Matt Hendricks scored a goal for the Monsters, his seventh goal in his last seven games. Hendricks was subsequently called up to Colorado on Monday. Simeon Varlamov, who won in Toronto Saturday in his first appearance since January 14, absorbed the loss Sunday against Lake Erie. The BEARS finished the season series with a win and a loss against the boys from the Buckeye state.
The BEARS have enjoyed first place to themselves much of the 2008-09 season, but trail the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as play opens this evening. Bridgeport defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday while HERSHEY dropped a 6-3 decision to Lake Erie. The Sound Tigers then won over Lowell Tuesday night 2-1 to take a two point lead 88 to 86, although the BEARS possess two games in hand on the Tigers. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, equal in the number of games played so far this season with the Chocolate and White, sits just six points back of the top slot. The Penguins come to GIANT Center this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., while Bridgeport comes to call Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Following this weekend's action, HERSHEY will have just 13 regular season games remaining.
The Norfolk Admirals travel Wednesday to take on the Albany River Rats in a game at Times Union Center in New York's Capital District. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m. Norfolk begins the night two points back of the sixth place Rats in the East. Philadelphia continues its playoff push Wednesday with a home game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05 p.m. Binghamton continues a New England road trip Wednesday with a game in Worcester against the Sharks at the DCU Center. Bridgeport is the lone team in the division with Wednesday night off.
It has largely been a forgettable season for the Falcons, who have won the fewest games of any AHL team entering play this evening. Former BEARS forward Shane Willis plays for Springfield. Willis scored 27 goals in just 55 games for HERSHEY during the 2003-04 season. HERSHEY defeated the Falcons back on December 31 by a score of 2-0, with Simeon Varlamov earning the shutout.
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 4:40 p.m. John Walton and Ed Coffey have the call of the action. Tickets are still available for Wednesday's game by calling or visiting the GIANT Center box office at (717) 534-3911.