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Flyers @ Capitals: 01-17-2010


The Flyers come to downtown D.C. today having won four of its last five games, with their only loss in that span coming as a 4-0 shutout on Thursday against the team the Capitals defeated handily the night after to the tune of 6-1, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Today’s matchup will mark the fourth and final contest between these two teams during the regular season. In the previous three contest, the Capitals have scored 17 points, which was padded due to an 8-2 Capitals victory in Wachovia Center on Dec. 5th.

The Caps have won 10 out of the last 15 contest against the Flyers since the 2006-2007 season began.

1st Period Overview:

Despite thousands of empty seats, presumably due to the NFL’s Divisional playoff games, the energy filling the Verizon Center matches that of a full house.

The period can be summed up as a chess match for both teams, with each team going tit-for-tat with two goals apiece. The Flyers struck first with a Jeff Carter goal but the Capitals retaliated with a quick goal from former Flyer Mike Knuble. The chess match continued when Flyers left winger James Van Riemsdyk put the Flyers up 2-1. That lead didn’t last long when Brooks Laich scored his 12th goal of the season and evened the contest out at 2-2 with 6:32 left in the opening period.

It has been a very entertaining matchup so far in a game featuring two local rivals. Considering the fans of both teams feeding off of each other’s energy, it only looks to become more enticing as the day goes on.

Goals: PHI – 2 WAS – 2
Shots: PHI – 9 WAS – 8
Blocked Shots: PHI – 9 WAS – 6
Faceoffs Won: PHI – 10 – WAS – 11

2nd Period Overview:

Defense was the name of the game in the second period, with the only score coming seven minutes in.

Both the Capitals and the Flyers had just returned their fifth men on the ice following a 4-on-4 stretch with Washington’s Tyler Sloan and Philadelphia’s Scott Hartnell in their respective penalty boxes when Jeff Carter gave the Caps a 5-on-4 advantage by holding Sloan shortly after he left the box. Just seven seconds after Carter’s penalty, Alexander Semin gave the Caps a 3-2 lead with his 20th goal on the year.

The Capitals tightened up their defense, helping keep traffic away from Jose Theodore when he wasn’t making clutch saves. Washington was able to clear the puck at the right times and also increased their physicality, making their presence known to the Flyers on their own as opposed to just responding to the hits that Philadelphia was giving them.

Goals: PHI – 0 WAS – 1
Shots: PHI – 12 WAS – 9
Blocked Shots: PHI – 6 WAS – 6
Faceoffs Won: PHI – 10 – WAS – 13

3rd Period Overview (most of it):

Brooks Laich scored his second goal of the night on a beautiful backhanded shot to give the Caps a 4-2 lead 4:56 into the final period, giving the team much-needed momentum to close out the Flyers.

The score remains 4-2 with five minutes remaining.

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Caps Recap 11/9/09


The Washington Capitals entered this week without the services of their superstar playmaker Alex Ovechkin; though if you looked at the scores of their three games last week, you wouldn’t know it. Washington scored 13 goals in three games. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hershey’s Playoffs by the Numbers


(33) Percentage of Hershey’s shots that the trio of Graham Mink, Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux propelled at the Penguins’ goaltenders in the WBS series.

(23) Number of Hershey players who have registered at least one point in the playoffs.

(17) Number of periods that the Bears have not allowed a goal by their opponents.

(16) Number of Bears that have registered at least one goal in this post-season.

(13) Number of Bears who have donned the sweater of the Chocolate and White for all 11 playoff contests.

(9) Number of Hershey multi-point games by everyone who has appeared in the playoffs, excluding Giroux and Aucoin.

(8) Combined number of multi-point games registered by Aucoin and Giroux (4 each)…Games that the Bears have scored the first goal of the game… Number of different players who have scored Hershey’s last eight goals at Giant Center.

(7) Number of different Bears who have tallied the eight game winning goals…Number of times that Michal Neuvirth has been named a star of the game….Number of Bears who have scored their 1st AHL playoff goals.

(6) Number of different Bears who have tallied the six game winning goals at Giant Center.

(+6) Andrew Joudrey’s team leading +/- number. Tyler Sloan and Steve Pinizzotto are each +5.

(3) Number of Hershey game-winning goals that have been struck in the 1st period in their last three triumphs.

(2) Number of Hershey fights in the post-season (Greg Amadio-Paul Bissonnette and Oskar Osala-Patrick Maroon).

(0) Number of first period goals that the Bears have allowed at Giant Center.

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Bears Bite Tigers


Theoretically, it was the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who were idle last night in Hershey awaiting tonight’s game, that should have came out in the opening period on the attack; however, it was the Hershey Bears who dominated their own den, reeling off three unanswered first period goals on their way to a convincing 7-2 win at Giant Center.

In the high scoring contest, with five different Bears lighting the lamp, Alexandre Giroux’s record-tying and record-breaking goals outshone them all.  In just 62 games, Giroux became the first player in the 71 years of Hershey Bears hockey to score more than 53 goals in a single season.  The previous record was set during the 1982-83 season by Tony Cassolato in 75 games.

“It was amazing,” said Giroux of his accomplishment. “To be honest, I was hoping to get it tonight or as soon as possible. I was very emotional to be able to get it done; I was pretty proud it.”

Keith Aucoin, returning to Chocolatetown after suiting up for the Washington Capitals last night, started the Bears’ first period barrage, beating Bridgeport goaltender, Nathan Lawson, at 7:24, after one-timing a pass from Tyler Sloan, with the teams skating at four a side.

“I wanted him (Sloan) to give me the puck in the neutral zone, but he kept it. I didn’t expect him to make that pass, be he got it through. I shot it as quick as I could and it went in,” said Aucoin.

Aucoin was at his play-making best just a minute after his goal, finding Chris Bourque at Lawson’s doorstep for an easy tap-in goal, with Hershey enjoying a 4-on-3 power play.

“He (Bourque) always jokes that I don’t pass it to him enough,” said Aucoin, while taking some good-natured ribbing from Bourque, who joked that the AHL’s leading scorer collected three phantom assists during the match.  “I’m glad he was able to handle it.”

Aucoin finished his three-point period by beating Lawson for his 25th goal of the season at 18:20, after going circle-to-circle with some assistance from teammate, Graham Mink.

“I was looking for Giroux first and I couldn’t get it to him because the one defenseman took him. Then other guy tried to block my shot and I was able to get around him. I saw a little leeway over his glove and I was able to find it,” said Aucoin.

At 3:58 of the second period, Mink tallied his career-high 32nd goal of the season, putting his team on top, 4-0, after a beautiful pass from Sami Lepisto, with the Bears’ goaltender, Simeon Varlamov, picking up the secondary assist.

Bridgeport’s Trevor Smith and Andrew MacDonald sandwiched power play goals around Giroux’s historical goals, making it a 6-2 game after two periods.

With Peter Mannino replacing Lawson in goal to start the third period, Andrew Gordon needed less than a minute into the third period to score his 21st goal of the season, which would be the final goal of the contest.

Giroux and Aucoin, who obviously have chemistry on the ice, complimented each other’s amazing abilities after the record-breaking evening.

“As far as getting me the puck he’s pretty amazing,” said Giroux of Aucoin. “I think we complete each other pretty well. I try to find the open spot on the ice so that he can see me, and we can get it done. Without him, I don’t think I could have gotten it done.”

“He not only scores from anywhere, but he’s also one of the more skilled guys in the league, and can create his own chances,” said Aucoin about linemate, Giroux. “I’ve played with some pretty good players, but he’s by far the top goal scorer that I’ve ever played with.”

Notes:

Hershey has now won five straight games.

Bears meet the WBS Penguins tomorrow at home to finish off the weekend.

Mink, who fought Michael Haley late in the 2nd period, did not return for the 3rd period.

Hershey marked their 101st point this evening, the 3rd time they have done so in their four-year affiliation with the Washington Capitals organization.

 

 

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Tyler Sloan On NHL Live! Today


Hershey defenseman Tyler Sloan, currently on recall to the Washington Capitals, appeared on XM Radio’s NHL Live! Show today.

Hosts EJ Hradek and Billy Jaffe asked Tyler an assortment of questions, dealing with various subjects. Among the questions posed to Tyler; What has been his most memorable stop in his journey to the NHL? Did he ever thinking about giving up on the NHL dream, and a couple of questions pertaining to Bruce Boudreau.

Tyler Sloan interview on NHL LIVE!.

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Capitals continue to make cuts to roster


The Washington Capitals, just days away from opening night in the NHL, tweaked their roster on Thursday by assigning four players to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Assigned to Hershey were defenseman Tyler Sloan, Grant McNeill and Sami Lepisto and goaltender Simeon Varlamov. Read the rest of this entry »

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