Press Release Details

TONIGHT'S GAME PREVIEW: BEARS at FALCONS


11/02/2012 -

TONIGHT’S GAME NOTES
HERSHEY BEARS at SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
Friday, November 2, 2012 - 7:00 PM - MassMutual Center

REFEREE: Geno Binda (#22)
LINESMEN: Brent Colby (#7) & Luke Galvin (#2)


BEARS vs. FALCONS: Tonight, the HERSHEY BEARS return to the road for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Springfield Falcons. The two teams will meet just twice in the regular season, with the Falcons visiting Chocolatetown just prior to the Christmas holiday. Springfield is the top AHL developmental affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

 

ALL-TIME: The two teams tonight meet for the 41st time in history. The BEARS have an all-time record of 20-10-10 (W – L/OTL – T/SOL) against the Falcons. HERSHEY posted a record of 1-0-1-0 against Springfield last season.

 

THE LAST TIME: The BEARS and Falcons met on Sunday, March 4 at GIANT Center, with HERSHEY pulling out a 2-1 overtime victory. Ryan Potulny netted the winner just 22 seconds into the extra session, off of assists from Tomas Kundratek and former BEARS star Chris Bourque. Matt Pope tied the game for the hosts after long-time BEARS sniper Alexandre Giroux struck first for Springfield.

 

2012-13 SEASON SERIES:

Fri. November 2, 2012

@Springfield

MassMutual Center

Sat. December 22, 2012

SPRINGFIELD

GIANT Center

 

RECENT RECAPS: The BEARS are coming off of a successful weekend on home ice, first defeating the Albany Devils by a 3-0 count on Saturday. Backed by a 35-save shutout by goaltender Braden Holtby, the BEARS scored once in each period en route to the win. Zach Hamill scored his first goal in a HERSHEY sweater, ultimately giving the BEARS all the offense they would need. Jeff Taffe’s second period power-play strike provided insurance, and Tomas Kundratek’s empty-net tally from the defensive goal line sealed the win. The BEARS then hosted rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday, and battled to a 3-2 victory behind Dany Sabourin’s 20-save effort. Mike Carman registered his first goal of the campaign when he followed up his own rebound to beat Penguins backstop Jeff Zatkoff. Hamill scored his second in as many nights on a partial shorthanded breakaway to give the BEARS a 2-0 advantage. Adam Payerl scored to pull the Penguins within one, and after an apparent tying goal by Phil Dupuis was waved off after video replay showed Dupuis kick the puck into the net, Ryan Stoa converted a rebound for the eventual game-winner. Eric Tangradi managed to slip a rebound past Sabourin for a power-play goal to again draw the Penguins close, but the BEARS were able to hold on for the victory.

 

Springfield, meanwhile, has vaulted to the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to stellar goaltending and a heavy dose of home ice. Curtis McElhinney, fresh off being named CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month of October, helped preserve a 3-2 win on Sunday against the Portland Pirates with 26 saves. Matt Calvert scored on the power play to start things off, former BEARS captain Andrew Joudrey lit the lamp for a shorthanded goal and Ryan Johansen scored the eventual game-winner all in the first period. The Falcons fired 41 shots at the Pirates net and killed off six of seven Portland power plays in earning the win.

 

 

EAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of November 2):

POS

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

SOL

PTS

WIN%

GF

GA

1.

Norfolk

6

5

1

0

0

10

.833

23

15

2.

Syracuse

7

4

1

1

1

10

.714

25

25

3.

HERSHEY

7

3

3

1

0

7

.500

21

21

4.

Binghamton

7

3

3

1

0

7

.500

16

20

5.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

7

2

5

0

0

4

.286

17

20

 

STORYLINES: Several players in tonight’s lineup appeared in the opposing uniform at some point in their careers. On the HERSHEY side, captain Boyd Kane and forward Jeff Taffe were teammates on the Falcons in 2002-03, Taffe’s rookie season. Taffe (47 points) led the Falcons in scoring that year, while Kane (37 points) was third on the squad. Forward Ryan Potulny posted 62 points to lead the 2008-09 Falcons in scoring. Potulny also appeared in 14 games with Springfield in 2009-10, a season during which Potulny spent the majority with Edmonton. Goaltender Dany Sabourin manned the Falcons goal crease for 13 games in the 2008-09 campaign, following his trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins in January of 2009. Finally, although not having played for their hometown Falcons, Springfield-area natives and first cousins Barry Almeida and T.J. Syner return "home" for tonight’s contest.

 

For the Falcons, captain Ryan Craig called HERSHEY home in the 2003-04 season, appearing in 61 games with the Chocolate and White. Center Andrew Joudrey captained the 2010-11 BEARS after winning back-to-back Calder Cup championships in his two previous seasons. Joudrey appeared in a total of 279 games with HERSHEY, and an additional 64 Calder Cup playoff contests. Greg Amadio, affectionately known as "Ammo" to teammates, coaches and fans, was Joudrey’s teammate on the BEARS’ back-to-back championship squads. One of the most well-liked players in the BEARS locker room, Amadio is in his second season with the Falcons.

 

The BEARS-Falcons history doesn’t stop on the bench, either – it runs behind it as well with Falcons head coach Brad Larsen. A vetaran of 294 NHL contests, Larsen played five seasons in HERSHEY during the BEARS’ affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche. He captained the BEARS for three consecutive seasons between 1998-2001.

 

TOMAS THE TANK ENGINE: D Tomas Kundratek is coming off of a superb weekend, notching one goal, three assists and a plus-4 rating. Kundratek ranks third on the BEARS in scoring (2-5-7), is tied for 12th among AHL defensemen and is close to one-third of the way to his scoring production in HERSHEY last season (12-11-23).

 

NOT SHORT-STAFFED: D Garrett Stafford is now tied for seventh among AHL defensemen in scoring (1-7-8), his seven assists are tied for fifth among blueliners and his point total ties for the BEARS’ lead with teammate Jeff Taffe.

 

HAMILL TIME: C Zach Hamill scored in back-to-back games last weekend, with the first of his two goals (his first in a HERSHEY sweater) holding up as Saturday’s game-winner. His shorthanded goal against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday was the second for the BEARS in the young season.

 

SCHILLING’S A PLUS: D Cameron Schilling accumulated a plus-8 rating over his last six games, and now stands at plus-6 – a mark which leads the BEARS and is tied for second among AHL rookies.

 

STELLAR STOA: LW Ryan Stoa chipped in on the score sheet in both games last weekend. He set up the game-winner on Saturday, scored the game-winner on Sunday and was plus-3 over the two games.

 

THREE-FOR-THREE: The BEARS have scored three goals in each of their three victories.

 

HEAVY DOSE OF HOME ICE: Of the seven games played by Springfield in the early season, six have been played at MassMutual Center. The Falcons’ lone road contest was at Providence, just 85 miles to the southeast.

 

ON THE PLUS SIDE: Every Falcons player on their active roster has an even plus-minus rating or higher.

 

BEARS vs. FALCONS – TEAM LEADERS:

HERSHEY Springfield

Games Played SEVERAL TIED (7) SEVERAL TIED (7)

Goals Ryan Stoa, Jeff Taffe (3) Cam Atkinson, Ryan Johansen (3)

Assists Garrett Stafford (7) Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, David Savard (5)

Points Garrett Stafford, Jeff Taffe (8) Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (7)

PIMs Garrett Mitchell (24) Cody Bass (19)

Plus/Minus Cameron Schilling (+6) John Moore (+8)

Power-Play Goals Jon DiSalvatore (2) Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Nick Drazenovic (2)

Shorthanded Goals Zach Hamill, Garrett Mitchell (2) Andrew Joudrey (1)

Game-Winning Goals THREE TIED (1) Ryan Johansen (2)

 

Wins Dany Sabourin (2) Curtis McElhinney (5)

Goals-Against Average Braden Holtby (2.01) Curtis McElhinney (1.51)

Save Percentage Braden Holtby (.940) Curtis McElhinney (.949)

 

BEARS vs. FALCONS – SPECIAL TEAMS:

 

HERSHEY

Springfield

Power Play

7-for-34 (20.6%) –13th in AHL

7-for-34 (20.6%) – 14th in AHL

Penalty Kill

23-for-30 (76.7%) – 22nd in AHL

40-for-46 (87.0%) – 7th in AHL

 

BEARS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

10/28/12

DEL

G

Philipp Grubauer

Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)

10/27/12

ADD

G

Philipp Grubauer

Reassigned by Washington (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)

10/27/12

DEL

G

Philipp Grubauer

Reassigned by Washington (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)

10/27/12

ADD

F

T.J. Syner

Recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)

 

FALCONS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

11/1/12

ADD

G

Matt Clemente

Recalled from loan to Missouri (CHL)

10/31/12

DEL

C

Nathan Moon

Loaned to Evansville (ECHL)

10/31/12

ADD

C

Nathan Moon

Recalled from loan to Cincinnati (ECHL)

 

BEARS AMONG THE AHL:

G Braden Holtby: T,3rd – shutouts (1); 14th – GAA (2.01).

RW Garrett Mitchell: T,3rd – SH goals (1).

C Zach Hamill: T,3rd – SH goals (1).

D Garrett Stafford: T,7th (D) – scoring (1-7-8), T,5th (D) – assists (7).

D Cameron Schilling: T,1st (R) – plus-minus (+6).

 

FALCONS AMONG THE AHL:

G Curtis McElhinney: T,1st – shutouts (2); T,1st – wins (5); 4th – save % (.949); 5th – saves (169); 5th – GAA (1.51).

G Paul Dainton: 5th – save % (.947); 8th – GAA (1.85).

D John Moore: T,2nd – plus-minus (+8)

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