Mathieu Perreault Scores on a Penalty Shot

The Hershey Bears concluded a brutal stretch of four games in five mornings/nights today, as they took on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 1:00 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for 3PM, was bumped up two hours early to accommodate the Gold Medal Game between the United States and Canada.

In his first start since returning from the Russian National Team in the Olympics (and eating McDonald’s everyday), Semyon Varlamov played splendidly against the Baby Pens stopping 30 shots and thwarting three consecutive opportunities in the shootout as the Bears prevailed 2-1. After falling behind 2-0 in the shootout, clutch goals by Keith Aucoin, Alex Giroux and the previous night’s hero (more on that later) Mathieu Perreault allowed Hershey to win the shootout 3-2. Kyle Wilson scored Hershey’s lone goal of the game during regulation, despite the Bears peppering Baby Pens goalie Brad Thiessen with 33 shots. The win was Hershey’s 46th on the season.

Bruce Boudreau and Bears President Doug Yingst take in the 9-2 Beatdown (Photo Kyle M.)

Bruce Boudreau and Bears President Doug Yingst take in the 9-2 Beatdown (All Photos by Kyle M.)

Saturday night with Bruce Boudreau in attendence for a pregame book signing, the Hershey Bears pushed their incredible AHL Record home winning streak to 21 with a resounding 9-2 victory over the New York Islanders farm team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hershey jumped out to a 5-1 first period lead on the heels of a first period hat trick by everyone’s favorite miniature-sized-center Mathieu Perreault.

Perreault ended the night with an incredible four goals, including one on a penalty shot in the second period. Other crazy stats accumulated during the night? Prepare yourself:

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Russian Players, Coaches & Analysts On The Loss To Canada

Why Did Russia Fail In The Olympics?

Here are some reflections of the Canada and Russia game in the words of players, coaches and famous analysts back home in Russia. All quotes were translated by Fedor Fedin and pulled from interviews by “Soviet Sport,” “Sport-Express,” & “Sports Day By Day.”

Vyacheslav Bykov, Russian Head Coach:

“You can’t “order” the result. It’s a sport. We were in a situation where we met one of the best teams in the world in the quarterfinal and couldn’t win. What will be the consequence? I don’t know. I think, our successors will give a balanced grade for this. I don’t think that the decision to start Nabokov was a mistake. All the players of the Canadian team put very big pressure on us and we had to get out together. With Zhenya. [Ed. Note - Zhenya - short form of Evgeny]. [...]

All teams had the same conditions and I think that now it doesn’t make any sense if we blame tournament system. It’s hard to say, did additional game against Germany help the Canadian team? Anyways, I have never seen a team who ran 60 minutes without a break. Everyone wanted to see the Crosby / Ovechkin duel. Everyone made a hullabaloo about it, but the match is the game between teams. We tried different lines but the pressure by the four Canadian lines were much higher than ours”.

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This Guy Wants to Suspend Ovechkin for Palming a Camera

Edward Fraser (left) of The Hockey News, apparently not a GR8 fan

Edward Fraser (left) of The Hockey News. Not a GR8 fan.

In a blog post for The Hockey News, Edward Fraser lays into Alexander Oveckin, following his recent incident with some dude with a camera:

. . . it’s [a] very disturbing turn to apparently physically assault an onlooker, no matter whether the camera-person was a fan or member of the media and no matter how he was provoked.

Fascinating stuff.  You see, if an organization like RMNB (hi, Mom!) says something as asinine as, “clearly he’s become beaten down by the burden of being a superstar,” you can be sure that we’re blowing smoke up your hiney.  But The Hockey News is supposed to be a respected journalistic institution.  Maybe we should just give the guy with the perm and ugly necktie over there the same measure of empathy that the creepy person with the camera did not afford A.O.

What do you think of Ovechkin’s alleged simple assault, Edward Fraser’s screed, and RMNB’s lack of journalistic integrity?  Please share below.

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What Went Wrong With Team Russia?

Alex Ovechkin and his friends have left Vancouver by now, and surely that’s a good thing. For the greatest conglomeration of hockey talent we may ever see, Team Russia played like amateurs. The 2010 Men’s Olympic hockey tournament was a disaster for the Russians, and that comes as a surprise to many of us. But why did the Russian Machine break? (Did you really think we’d let that go?)

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Russian Machine Has Chernobyl-Like Meltdown

A long time ago, before last night’s embarrassing loss to the Canadian Olympic Team and before last year’s crushing Game 7 loss to the Penguins, Alex Ovechkin was a happy, carefree individual who craved attention. He’d practically do any interview asked of him and was always happy to promote himself and the Capitals to no end. It’s safe to say that Ovechkin’s expressive play over the years has even captured the hearts of a once moribund sports town and turned Washington DC into a genuine Hockeytown.

But with peaks must come valleys. And the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was a deep chasm of awful for the Russian Machine – minus one legendary moment. What did Vancouver do though? It illustrated what can happen to a 24 year old when he carries a burden too heavy for even his broad shoulders to hold.

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Russian Lessons Part III: Who Is The Most Popular Hockey Player In Russia?

[Ed Note: First, RMNB taught you how to correctly pronounce the names of some of Russia's Best Hockey Players. Second, RMNB taught you how to support the Russian National Team in Vancouver with Authentic Russian Fan Chants and Cheers. Tonight, In Russian Lessons Part III, we're here to teach you who the most popular, active hockey players in Russia are.

With NHL Games starting at 3am or later in Russia and the KHL starting to find more and more traction, we were interested who Russians talked about and followed the most. Would it be an NHL Player? Would it be a KHL Player? We felt this post was necessary because the media coverage in Washington makes a lot of people assume Alex Ovechkin is the most revered sportsman in the country. He has a huge following - to the point where he's been on Game Shows and in Music Videos - but you'll be surprised by what we found today. They're all yours Fedor.]

Okay, I bet if you had to pick one person to be the most popular hockey player in Russia, you’d pick Alex Ovechkin. This is a great guess, but it’s not 100% true. Let’s check what hockey players Russian users search for the most using the Russian Search Engine “Yandex.” It is the most used Search Engine (51% of search market) in our country.

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Jason Bacashihua in Net

This past weekend was awesome. Why? Because it was chock full of Hockey at every hour of the day. Sure there was “Super Sunday” with the Russians destroying the Czechs, USA humbling the Green Snubbers from the North, and the Swedes shutting out the Fins in Olympic action. But there also was a double dip of AHL Hockey with the Hershey Bears playing both on Saturday and Sunday. Well since we here at RMNB can’t be everywhere – though Fedor certainly tried as he watched illegal Russian Video Streams of the Bears Games during breaks in the Olympics – we asked our Hershey Correspondent Kyle M to summarize the events of this weekend via pictures, words & yes, his own video. Video which includes reaction from players and Coach Mark French after Hershey set the AHL Record for Consecutive Home Victories. Awesome. If you hate reading like me, here’s all you need to know: HERSHEY RULZ!

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BONUS: Contributer Brandon Oland has composed new lyrics to Canada’s national anthem. Sing along to the video below!

Oh, Canada
You screwed your native land
True patriot snub was too much for thee to withstand
With seething hearts, we see the rise
USA hockey strong and free
From far and wide
O, Canada
Mike Green should stand guard for thee
God save our squad no longer glorious and free
O, Canada
Mike Green can’t help thee
O, Canada
Mike Green can’t help thee

 

Alex Ovechkin in Win against The Czech Republic

Russia defeated the Czech Republic 4-2 today and it was Alex Ovechkin’s “Hit Heard ‘Round Vancouver” that forced the key turnover from Jaromir Jagr. That hit in fact led to the Game Winning Goal by Evgeni Malkin and millions of mouths – across the world – left agape in wild disbelief. So obviously, after Ovechkin’s Herculean Feat, the media was quite excited to talk to the Russian Machine. They had many things to ask. Sadly, he was not as excited to speak to them, much like the rest of the Russian Team. Can you say “Is Party Now?”

Via Greg Wyshynski on Twitter:

Ovie takes about a minute of Russian questions, and blows off. Ditto Malkin. Ditto 99% of the roster.

Well RMNB’s got Ivan Kalashnikov’s brief article from the Press Conference via Sports.ru:
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Alex Ovechkin Destroys Jaromir Jagr, Russia Wins 4-2

Clearly, Alex Ovechkin hasn’t had enough Big Hits in the Olympics yet. In the third period of a game that would allow the Russians to win their division over the Czech Republic, Alex Ovechkin completely laid out Jaromir Jagr which you can view in this animated gif found by Japers’ Rink. Not only that, the hit led to a 2 on 1 with Alex Semin and Evgeni Malkin. Alex Ovechkin then hustled back into the play drawing a defender, which gave Alex Semin enough room to needle a pass to Evgeni Malkin – who then managed to roof a bad angled shot past Tomas Vokoun. It gave the Russians a 3-1 lead over the Czechs at the time, and ended up being the Game Winning Goal. Russia wins 4-2. Ro-ssi-ya! Ro-ssi-ya!

Anyways, here’s what Travis Hughes of SB Nation’s Winter Olympics Blog had to say on the big hit.

Maybe Jaromir Jagr hasn’t dealt with the physical aspect of hockey much in the last two years. At the very least, he certainly didn’t look like he was ready for a Russian freight train to come rolling through his station.

CHOO CHOO!! Anyways we must extend a special thanks to the Russian Machine for letting out about 10 years of Caps Angst with that one hit. What a legendary play from a historic player. And what an appetizer for Super Sunday. Up next USA vs. Canada.