04/03/2009 - In a game that could go a long way to determining the 2008-09 East Division championship, the BEARS are in Bridgeport Friday to play the Sound Tigers. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m.
HERSHEY'S four-game road trip got off to a rocky start in Norfolk Wednesday night, as Michal Neuvirth left the game due to illness after the first period, allowing two goals on seven shots before his departure. Daren Machesney would allow just one goal over the final two periods, but the BEARS fell 3-2 on a night when Norfolk goaltender Craig Kowalski was named number one star.
Both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport are three points behind HERSHEY in the East Division standings as play opens Friday. While the Pens and BEARS both have five games remaining (including two head-to-head), the Sound Tigers will have just three left after this evening's game in southern Connecticut. A win in regulation tonight would realistically if not mathematically eliminate Bridgeport from East Division title contention. The Tigers would fall five off the pace with three games remaining.
Around the East Division Friday, Philadelphia's pursuit of the Calder Cup playoffs continues with a game in Norfolk against the Admirals at 7:15 p.m. The Phantoms begin play Friday just three points behind the fourth place Binghamton Senators with a game in hand. Binghamton is on the road Friday at Rochester to face the Americans at Blue Cross Arena. Albany is in Glens Falls, New York Friday, hosting the Worcester Sharks. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has the night off, and will hold a game in hand on the BEARS in advance of Saturday's game between the two clubs at Wachovia Arena.
Friday'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 has the call of the action. HERSHEY'S final two home games of the regular season are Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12 as Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton come to town. Call the GIANT Center box office for ticket information at (717) 534-3911.