Hershey Weekend Primer: Battle of PA & 2-fer at the Phantoms

On the Schedule this Weekend:
Friday – Hershey Bears @ Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Penguins’ AHL affiliate) – 7:05pm
Saturday – Adirondak Phantoms (Flyers’ AHL affiliate) @ Hershey Bears – 7:00pm
Sunday – Adirondak Phantoms (Flyers’ AHL affiliate) @ Hershey Bears – 5:00pm

Online: Ahllive.com – Offers a Single Game pass $6.99; a Team pass – for ALL Hershey games – for $149.00; and an Away pass – for all Bears’ away games for $99.00).

Listen (because when John Walton is calling the game, you don’t have to see it to know what’s going on):
Online: Whp580.com (for those outside of the listening area)
Radio: 100.1 WQIC FM – From Lebanon, PA serving 11 counties in Pennsylvania (for other station information, click here.)

The Baby Pens (4-0-0):
Previous match-ups:
10/1/2010 – Hershey 3 @ Wilkes Barre 4 (shoot-out) – preseason
10/2/2010 – Wilkes Barre 1 @ Hershey 5 – preseason
10/9/2010 – Hershey 3 @ Wilkes Barre 4 (shoot-out)

One of my favorite former Bears has been with Wilkes Barre the last few years, giving them an added toughness on their blue line.  He’s no longer a Baby-Pen – as he has graduated to the NHL and is a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins this year.  While you may not have heard of him before he recently dropped Colton Orr like a bad habit, Deryk Engelland has left a hole in Wilkes Barre by moving up to the show.  Despite the graduations of Engelland and Ben Lovejoy, the Baby Pens still boast a tough defense that the Bears’ have had some issues cracking, which is what they’ll have to do if they want to hand Wilkes Barre their first loss of the season. 

Crossing over behind enemy lines today, Jonathan Bombulie had some quotes from the Baby Pens that were absolute gems.  My favorite?  When asked “why other teams don’t try to emulate Hershey’s power play approach with the cross-ice passes for one-timers, he basically said it’s because other teams don’t have Keith Aucoin.”  Also notable from the other side?  Left-wing Brett Sterling and center Ryan Craig are both questionable for tonight’s match-up. 

The Phantoms (2-3-1):
Previous match-ups: None… yet

The Phantoms are bussing down to Hershey Friday night after their home game against the Charlotte Checkers.  While bus-rides aren’t anything new to AHL teams, they always have the ability to throw teams off.  What is new to the Phantoms this year is their assistant coach, Riley Cote. 

The Phantoms are relying on a lot of young talent this year, with 9 rookies on their roster.  They also have a vet that seems to be coming into his own this season in Patrick Maroon.  So far he’s tallied 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points in 6 games.  In typical Flyers’ organizational fashion, he’s also leading the Phantoms in penalty minutes, with 18.  If the Bears want to take two games from the Phantoms this weekend, they’d better keep Maroon under wraps.