Let’s Go to Canada: Hershey Bears Weekend Preview
After a clean sweep of rivalry weekend, the Hershey Bears take there 1st long road trip of the season as they head to the Great White North!
In honor of going to Canada:
Doug and Bob McKenzie, the original podcasters!
With the comedy out of the way, Hershey will travel to Coke Cola Coliseum (damn, you corporate sponsoring) on Wednesday night to take on the North division-leading Toronto Marlies. Toronto leads the North at 3-0-0-0 after taking 2 in Manitoba last weekend, they are lead by a 2 headed monster in goal (Joesph Woll and Kasimir Kaskisuo), the Marlies have the least amount of Penalty minutes (min 3 games) at 27.
Hershey has traditionally done well up in Toronto whether it’s at the Scotiabank or at CCC, the Bears come out on top in Toronto, our last regular loss up there was in Feb 2013, (thanks to the HB Weekly release for that) the Bears have a 5 game winning streak in Toronto including a 2 road wins during the 2016 ECF that sent them to the Calder Cup Finals, but that’s another show.
Puck drop is at 7pm
The boys then head due north (is there any other direction in Canada) to Belleville to take on the Belleville Senators, an affiliate of the Ottawa Senators and underlings of Eugene Mylenk.
Bellville is still a fairly new hockey club to the AHL, they moved from Binghamton in 2017 and have had growing pains of a relocated team and a mediocre farm system.
However, they do have a pretty good head coach, familiar to the Hershey Bears, former HC, and Assistant HC Troy Mann.
Belleville has had a rough start at 1-2-0-0, losing at Toronto (4-1), then the home opener to Binghamton Devils (2-1), but they salvaged a split and got their 1st win the following game (5-4).
They are lead by Drake Batherson with 5 points on the season (1G and 4A)
Goaltending appears to be an issue with the B Sens early in the season, Marcus Hogberg has both losses on the season with a GAA of 2.54 and an SV% of 0.906, Flip Gustavsson got the win last Sunday, but his 1 game stats are 3.72 and SV% 0.876.
With all the recent scoring options in Hershey, it could be a long night at the CAA.
Finally at long trip East to Quebec, Laval that is, to take on Le Rocket de Laval, The Laval Rocket, proud affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Laval is also new to the AHL moved from St John’s, Newfoundland in 2017, formerly known as the St John’s IceCaps.
Laval picked up their 1st win of the season by defeating the Rockford Icehogs 3-1 (Blackhawks affiliate) in a Monday afternoon tilt on Canada Thanksgiving.
Alex Belzile leads the Rocket in all 3 scoring categories: Points(4), Goals(3) and…Passes(1)?!!
Last Year, Travis Boyd got a 4 Goal masterpiece in the Place Bell in a 6-3 rout of de Rocket, with Liam o Brian getting 2 goals as well, Hershey has done well up in Laval also with a 2-1 record at PB, with last year’s loss coming after a long trip from Belleville to Laval.
Even though it is early in the season, Hershey should take 2 of 3 in Canada to try and rack up points early while the roster is still stacked with high-end talent. Travis Boyd, Sgarbossa, Djoos, and Moulson are supplying the bulk of the offense, but the boys will need to learn to win close games when the high scoring isn’t there. I believe this team can dig deep for that kind of wins and this roadie is the perfect time for team bonding and tomfoolery.
On Wednesday October 25th Hershey travels to Rochester, but that’s for another time. GO BEARS!!