Boudreau makes first return to Manchester

Saturday night marks the return to Verizon Wireless Arena for Hershey Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau since his departure from the Monarchs shortly after the team’s first round exit in the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs (7:35 PM ET).

The Monarchs play host to the coach who had been behind the bench from their inception into the American Hockey League in 2001. Boudreau compiled a 169-100-29-18 record including a franchise record for wins (51) and points (110) during 2004-05.

The Monarchs replaced Boudreau with his assistant Jim Hughes after the Monarchs failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year in 2005.

Both teams have had great starts under their new leadership in 2005-06. Boudreau’s Bears are currently riding a three game winning streak and have a record of 8-3-0-3 for 19 points, good for second place in the East Division. Hughes’ Monarchs meanwhile, have a 7-3-0-1 record for 15 points putting them in a tie for third place in a tightly contested Atlantic Division.

Rookie offensive production has been instrumental to the success of both teams of late. Jeff Tambellini (5g,6a,11 pts.) and Lauri Tukonen (3g,6a,9 pts.) have been key players in the Monarch’s two consecutive shootout victories, while Chris Bourque (2g,7a,9 pts.) and Eric Fehr (4g,6a,10 pts.) have led the way for the Bears.

You can catch all of the action of this game or any of the other 11 games tonight live with B2 Networks’ live video webcasts, as well as by following the scores and statistics on our live real-time scoreboard.