The BEARS return home Wednesday night a win away from moving back into first place in the East Division. The Toronto Marlies provide the opposition Wednesday, the final non-East Division game of the 2008-09 regular season. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m.
Following back-to-back road wins Saturday and Sunday in Portland and Manchester, HERSHEY looks for its 45th win of the season Wednesday holding three games in hand on the first place Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Bridgeport dropped a 5-3 decision to Worcester Tuesday night, keeping the Tigers just one point in front of the boys from Chocolatetown. The first place Sound Tigers can lose that distinction either this evening or Friday, as the team will not play again until Saturday's showdown against the BEARS at GIANT Center.
Toronto is in a heated battle to make the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs as action gets underway this evening. The Marlies have 74 points, placing the team from Toronto just one point ahead of the Syracuse Crunch for fourth place in the North Division. Both teams have nine games remaining in the regular season. Toronto is winless in its last three games, while Syracuse has won seven of its last 10. Currently in the North, a fourth place finish would mean a first round matchup with the mighty Manitoba Moose in the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs.
Around the East Division Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phantoms may very well be in a must-win situation Wednesday night as John Paddock's club travels to Binghamton to face the Senators at 7:05 p.m. Binghamton is eight points up on the Phantoms for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. Should the Senators win in regulation Wednesday and go just 4-4 in its final eight games, Philadelphia would have to go 9-1 in its last 10 just to tie the Sens. Philly is in its last season at the Spectrum, and short of a playoff berth in the East, the franchise will cease to exist after its April 11 game here at GIANT Center. Elsewhere Wednesday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hosts Grand Rapids, and Albany is at Rochester to take on the Americans.
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 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.