04/21/2009 - The BEARS look to take a commanding three games to none lead Wednesday night as the Philadelphia Phantoms come to town for Game 3 of the 2009 East Division Semi-Finals. Face-off is at 7:00 p.m.
Alexandre Giroux scored his first goal of the postseason Saturday night, which proved to be the game-winner as the BEARS defeated the Phantoms 6-2 in Game 2 of the East Division Semi-Finals. Six different HERSHEY skaters scored goals in the triumph, and goaltender Michal Neuvirth won his second career Calder Cup playoff game in as many tries. The win was HERSHEY'S second in as many tries on the road in the first-round matchup. If needed, the BEARS would play four of the final five games at GIANT Center.
HERSHEY'S power play and penalty kill have propelled the club to a two games to none lead in this best-of-seven East Division Semi-Final. The BEARS, who finished last in the AHL in penalty kill in the regular season, has begun this playoff series by killing off 12 straight Philadelphia power plays. Conversely, the BEARS have also scored four power play goals in the first two contests, including three goals on the man advantage in Game 2 alone. The BEARS have scored 10 goals in the first two games in this series against the Phantoms, and the goals have been scored by 10 different players. Oskar Osala leads the team in scoring with three points entering action this evening.
The other East Division Semi-Final pits the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Penguins lead the series two games to one in a best-of seven that has seen the road team win every game so far. Game 4 of the series is Wednesday night at the Arena at Harbor yard in Bridgeport. The winner of the Penguins/Sound Tigers matchup will meet the winner of the HERSHEY/Philadelphia series in the 2009 East Division Finals.
If Philadelphia fails to rally and win this best-of-series against HERSHEY, the team will officially be able to back up the moving trucks down the Spectrum ramp. The Phantoms, who were sold at mid-season by Comcast-Spectacor, will move out of Philadelphia at season's end. The likely destination appears to be Glens Falls, New York, the former home of the Adirondack Red Wings. Jared Ross and Luca Sbisa, who both played against the BEARS at GIANT Center the final week of the regular season, both remain on recall to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Wednesday's Game 3 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 on sale now for Games 3 and 4 of the East Division Semi-Finals between the BEARS and Phantoms at the GIANT Center box office. Call (717) 534-3911 for availability and information.