Last night was the Hershey Bears Calder Cup party at Giant Center. RMNB could not attend, but our spies are everywhere. From the aperture of Kyle Mace comes a parade of Bears images. Let’s take a second to appreciate Alexandre Giroux‘s aviator sunglasses, maniacal beard, and spraying bottles akimbo. The man is one bass solo away from joining Motorhead.
Here is Kyle’s video:
Glorious stills after the jump!
Tonight, we had the pleasure of having our own Hershey Correspondent Kyle M. down on the ice as the Hershey Bears celebrated their 11th Championship in Franchise History. And boy did he get some great photos.
Below the jump, check out Bryan Helmer hoisting the Calder Cup, the Bourque family celebrating Chris’s MVP Award, Doug Yingst getting a champagne shower from Michal Neuvirth and Francois Bouchard losing his dang mind. The overriding theme of these photos is “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
After losing the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals at home, the Hershey Bears are now one win away from raising the Calder Cup for the eleventh time in club history, and in back-to-back years. Holy Schnikes!!
But despite Hershey’s 3 game sweep of Texas at Cedar Park Center, the Stars can still draw confidence off Games 1 and 2 where they frustrated the AHL’s highest scoring team. Which Bears team will show up Monday for Game 6? The one that tried to play fancy, stick around the perimeter and let it’s emotions get the best of them, or the one that played simple, went hard to the net and kept its cool?
Today, Hershey held a 45-60 minute practice at Giant Center and Bears first line center Keith Aucoin hoped it was the latter:
After an absolutely dreadful start which saw the Bears take a 3-1 deficit into the first intermission, even the most optimistic of Bears fans would have thought that the chances of Hershey coming back in this series were slim. But Head Coach Mark French showed confidence in his players and made the necessary adjustments. He allowed Michal Neuvirth to return in net for the second period, despite witnessing last year’s playoff MVP flub a clearing attempt on a first-period powerplay. Neuvy’s whiff led to Texas’s second goal of the night, an unassisted short-handed goal by Francis Wathier. French then subtlety tinkered with his forward combinations promoting Chris Bourque to the top line and dropping the 2008-09 AHL MVP, Alexandre Giroux, to the second. It paid immediate dividends.
Hershey went on to score five unanswered goals, punctuated by two third period tallies by Andrew Gordon which included the eventual game-winning goal. The Hershey Bears win 6-3. The high-octane offense has returned!
For Game 2 of the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals, the Hershey Bears were in front of a sold-out and enthusiastic Saturday Night crowd of 10,726 and they did not disappoint. Chris Bourque tallied the game’s first goal with a slapshot from the right faceoff dot. The Monarchs’ Gabe Gauthier would then score back to back goals to make it 2-1. It would stay that way until the 3rd period when Hershey’s Steve Pinizzotto would score his second goal in two games and send it into overtime. That’s when the miniature-sized Chris Bourque would take in a pass from Keith Aucoin on a 2 on 1 and score short-side at 10:28 of the first OT giving Hershey their 5th playoff OT win of the year. Bourque’s (6g 12a) clutch second goal of the night also tied him for first place in the AHL Playoff Scoring Race with teammate Alexandre Giroux (10g 8a). Both have 18 points a piece and are now 1 point ahead of the Texas Stars’ Jamie Benn (who none of us have ever heard of).
Hershey now has a record of 10-1 in the playoffs and have won all 5 games that have gone into OT. The Bears will now travel to Manchester, New Hampshire and try to take a 3-0 series lead Monday.
Take a look at the rest of Kyle’s incredible photos from the game after the jump.
It had been 12 days since the Hershey Bears last played. And tonight it only took 16 seconds for them to shake off the rust.
Sean Collins wicked shot from the point opened the scoring in Game 1 of Hershey’s Eastern Conference Finals Series against the Manchester Monarchs, and Andrew Gordon’s rebound tally on the powerplay 10 minutes later in the first period gave Hershey a 2 goal lead they’d never relinquish. Steve Pinizzotto (GWG) and Karl Alzner also chipped in with goals for the Bears on a night where they improved to 9-1 in this year’s postseason and won their 6th consecutive playoff game.
Tonight, the Hershey Bears rallied to win 5-4 in OT and swept the Albany River Rats in their second round series four games to none. With the thrilling victory, the Bears now advance to the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in five years! HERSHEY
RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS!
Left Wing Chris Bourque accumulated a third of his 15 total points in the playoffs tonight, as he scored or assisted on every Bears goal. He finished the game with 2 goals, 3 assists and 5 points. Bourque scored at 8:23 in the first period and then again 59 seconds into the second frame. However, the River Rats answered each of Bourque’s talleys with two goals of their own, and entered the third with a commanding 4-2 lead.
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.
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:
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!
The Russian Machine doesn’t have much to say about the Capitals 2-1 loss the Los Angeles Kings today. It was crap. In fact, we felt this photo of Mike Green pretty much summed it up.
The Caps once again, came out in the first period with absolutely no push. To that effect, they’ve been out scored 6-0 in their past three first periods and out-shot 35-11. (Thanks Capitals Insider)
We want to take the easy road and say “Man, with Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina gone, this team is in absolute disarray. They’ve lost three straight games.” But you’ve got to look deeper than that. If you go by that logic, then the Hershey Bears are 10-1 in their last 11 because they brought Chris Bourque back . The problem is the secondary scoring for this team has been absolutely nonexistent lately and the team has not been playing a full 60 minutes at their level. The lack of intensity from anyone other than the Young Guns is troubling. And honestly, Jason Chimera seems to still be trying to find himself in Bruce Boudreau’s system.
The Capitals look like they’re a step slow. They’re losing battles. And with this being one of the NHL’s most skilled teams, we figure this is a tall-tale sign of either a team losing its focus or is in general tired. Someone needs to start banging into some bodies and create some space for others.
We hope with two home games on the slate this week, the Caps will bear down and play better in front of their own fans. And The Russian Machine Will Even Offer A Bold Prediction: We will be excited to see who will be named Captain in the coming days (Alex Ovechkin For Kapitan!!!) and receive the instant gratification of refocusing the team after soundly defeating the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday Night. Okay guys, make it happen!
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.