- GIROUX ON BRINK OF HISTORY, BEARS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT
By: John Walton
In what could very well prove to be a first round matchup in the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs, the BEARS forged a 4-0 win Friday night in Binghamton against the Senators. The win officially clinched a postseason berth for the Chocolate and White, and left the team on the doorstep of a 100-point season with nine regular season games remaining.
Kyle Wilson, long a thorn in Binghamton's side, led off the scoring Friday night with his 26th goal of the season at 15:27. The Senators began the period on a 10-1 shot run, but finished up with a 14-10 lead in shots after one period.
HERSHEY pulled away in the second period, scoring three times. Karl Alzner led the charge in the second with his fourth goal of the season at 3:14 to lift the BEARS to a 2-0 lead. Chris Bourque then picked up his 19th goal of the season at 5:41 before Alexandre Giroux again took center stage. The high flying left wing picked up his 52nd goal of the season at the 11:38 mark, leaving him one goal short of Tony Cassolato's franchise mark of 53 goals in a single season. Cassolato set the record during the 1982-83 season. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth would do the rest, making 47 saves and earning his first AHL shutout. Neuvirth was named the game's number one star, Wilson was number two and Alzner was number three.
Notes: The BEARS return home Saturday to play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of a sellout crowd at GIANT Center. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m. A very limited number of tickets remain for Sunday's showdown with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 5:00 p.m. Call (717) 534-3911 for the latest ticket information. Keith Aucoin and Oskar Osala both skated Friday for Washington against Tampa Bay at Verizon Center. Manitoba and Milwaukee are the only teams that clinched a playoff spot before the BEARS in 2008-09. The Moose were the first team to reach the 100-point plateau this season. HERSHEY stands at 99 points with nine games to go.
Bears Radio Network Three Stars of the Game
1. Michal Neuvirth (First AHL shutout)
2. Kyle Wilson (Sens killer strikes again with goal and assist)
3. Karl Alzner (Goal in second got the period started, two points)