Road Warriors, Ugly at Home

The Golden Bears may wish all 82 games this year were played away from Acadia Place as they excel on the road but choke on home cooking.
by Marcel Cormier | January 21, 2013, 11:46 AM ET

The Acadia Golden Bears began the year in unspecatacular fashion weaving a win-loss record with the frequency of a ping pong rally. Ten games into the 2012-13 campaign, Acadia's record was 5-5-0.

Recently the club has played much better. Was it the aquisition of Max Talbot at the expense of Mike Cammalleri that turned the fortunes of the team around? Certainly it has been a contributing factor but so has the return to prominence of Peter Mueller and the goaltending tandem of Tomas Vokoun and Martin Brodeur

Now, after 22 games, Acadia's record has improved to 14-6-2 as the club has picked up points in all but one of their last 12 outings.

But a look at the team's schedule shows an anomaly, or what the club hopes is an anomaly.

Of the 22 games Acadia has played this year, the visiting team has a 17-5 record. The Bears are a fantastic 10-1 on the road having not lost as the visiting team since the second game of the season when they were beaten 4-3 by Vancouver. Acadia has won 10 straight on the road. 

At home, the Bears are anything but Golden; 4-5-2. Most of those losses were earlier in the season but the hole was deep enough that even the current hot streak hasn't been enough to get the team to .500 when playing in Saint John.

"It's definitely a concern," said GM Guy Flaming, "You want the opposition to dread having to come play in your barn in front of your fans. Right now, that's not happening. Right now, it's us who don't seem to want to play in front of our fans."

Attendance hasn't been great at Acadia Place so far this season despite the team being the defending SICHL champions. 

"We have a demanding fanbase and a lot of times it's a 'what have you done for me lately' attitude which is fine," said Flaming, "That's their right but we have to give them a reason for coming to the rink and on some nights this year we haven't done that."

The Bears just wrapped up a 6-game-in-6-days stint and went 5-1, the one setback coming at home to Whitehorse. The upcoming schedule sees Quebec and Toronto come to town; two division rivals includig the Titans who will have former Bears Mike Cammalleri and Rich Peverely with them.

"It will be an emotional night for everyone there I'm sure," said Flaming, "Mike was a big part of our two championship runs and Rich played his part the last couple of years too."

After six games in a row, the Bears get a couple of nights off to rest and recuperate.

"It was a hectic pace for sure," said star forward Claude Giroux, "We have some tired legs already and a couple of days off will be nice."

BEAR TRACKS

  • Acadia has signed a couple of prospects. Forward Scott Laughton, chosen 18th overall in the 2012 SICH Draft, will be available to the team for the 2013-14 season. "We've been really encouraged by his play in Oshawa this year and think he'll be ready to take the step to the pro ranks next season," said Flaming. It's too early to tell if he'll play in the SICHL or on the farm though. 
  • Forward Reilly Smith has also signed a SICHL contract. He was acquired by Acadia from Amsterdam last season along with Scott Hartnell for Justin Abdelkader, Justin Shugg and a 6th round pick.
  • Players who will suit up for Acadia's minor league affiliate, the Val d'Or Villains, next year include Brad Ross, Marcel Noebels, J.T. Miller, Beau Bennett, Mark Stone, defenceman Joe Morrow and netminder Nathan Lieuwen. All have signed at least minor league contracts.
  • 2012 5th round pick Vince Hinostroza is 2nd in USHL scoring with 50 points in 32 games. He'll join the University of Notre Dame next season.
  • 4th round pick Adam Gilmour, a rookie in the USHL this season, leads the Muskegon Lumberjacks in scoring with 29 points through 39 games. He's headed to Boston College next season.
  • 2011 3rd round selection Adam Lowry is having a strong season with Swift Current in the WHL. He's currently 4th in league scoring with 31 goals and 63 points through 48 games.

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