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Game Preview: Hershey at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.

Game Preview: Hershey at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.

04/14/2017 - TONIGHT'S GAME NOTES
Hershey Bears (41-22-8-3, 93 points, 4th in Atlantic) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (50-19-3-2, 105 points, 1st in Atlantic)
Friday, April 14, 7:05 pm
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

REFEREES: Peter MacDougall (45), David Banfield (77)
LINESMEN: Francois Dussureault (60), Jud Ritter (34)

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:35 PM)
LISTEN ON: WQIC-100.1 FM, WOYK-AM 1350, Fortress 1230 WKBO, the Bears app via WHP 580Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH: AHLLive.com

BEARS AT PENGUINS: The Hershey Bears hit the road for the final time this season as they battle the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a possible playoff preview. Hershey has won three straight, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 7-1-0-2 over the past 10 games. The Bears enter the final weekend of the regular season ahead of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by just one point for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Hershey's magic number is four.

2016-17 REGULAR-SEASON SERIES VS PENGUINS (3-4-4-0) 
October 23    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    OTL, 2-1
November 19    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    OTL, 4-3
November 23    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    W, 4-0
December 9    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    W, 5-2
December 10    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    L, 6-2
January 6    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    L, 5-1
January 8    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    OTL, 6-5
January 18    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    L, 5-3
January 21    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    L, 5-1
February 10    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    OTL, 4-3
March 4    W-B/SCRANTON    GIANT CENTER    W, 2-1
April 14    At W-B/Scranton    Mohegan Sun Arena    

ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS

AHL PLAYOFF PRIMER


PLAYOFF CLINCHING SCENARIOS
Hershey clinches a playoff berth on Friday with:
(a) a win at W-B/Scranton AND a Bridgeport loss (reg/OT/SO) at Springfield, OR
(b) an OTL/SOL at W-B/Scranton AND a Bridgeport regulation loss at Springfield

LAST GAME RESULT
Saturday, April 8: Hershey 2 at Toronto 1

Chandler Stephenson scored his first goal in 25 games with just 8.5 seconds left in regulation time to earn the Hershey Bears hockey team a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies last Saturday night at the Ricoh Coliseum. The victory was Hershey’s third straight and moved the Bears to 93 points in the chase for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. 

Early in the second period, Hershey opened the scoring. Tom Gilbert scored his third goal of the season at 4:49 to make it 1-0. Stephenson stole the puck behind the net and fed Riley Barber in the slot. The initial shot from Barber was stopped by Marlies’ goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, but the puck fell out of his glove and popped up into the air. Gilbert batted the puck out of mid-air into the net to give Hershey the lead. Barber’s assist extended his point streak to four games. 

Hershey held the lead until the 15:39 mark of the third period when Toronto scored on a scramble in front. Sergey Kalinin was credited with the goal that tied the game at one. The Marlies rushed the puck down the right wing, and a backhand shot rolled towards the goal. There was a collision at the net, and Hershey argued that netminder Pheonix Copley was interfered with, but the puck crossed the line, and after a review, the goal stood. 

With just seconds remaining, the Bears moved into the offensive zone and Barber found the puck sitting loose behind the net. He saw Stephenson open the slot, and slid a pass to the forward. Stephenson’s shot bounced past Kaskisuo to give Hershey a 2-1 lead at 19:51. The goal was Stephenson’s first since Feb. 10, and his 10th of the season.

BEARS vs. PENGUINS - SPECIAL TEAMS: (As of April 13:)

HERSHEY

Power Play    65-for-314 (20.7%) – 7th in AHL, 4 SHGA
Penalty Kill    262-for-318 (82.4%) – 14th in AHL, 3 SHGF

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Power Play    52-for-302 (17.2%) –16th in AHL, 4 SHGA
Penalty Kill    269-for-308 (87.3%) – 1st in AHL, 8 SHGF


BEARS vs. PENGUINS – TEAM LEADERS: (EXCLUDES PLAYERS RECALLED TO NHL)

HERSHEY
Goals    Christian Thomas (24)
Assists    Travis Boyd (47)
Points    Travis Boyd (63)
PIMs    Tyler Lewington (142)
Plus/Minus    Stanislav Galiev (+20)
Power-Play Goals    Christian Thomas (12)
Shorthanded Goals    N/A
Game-Winning Goals    Liam O’Brien, Travis Boyd (4)
Wins    Pheonix Copley (25)
Goals-Against Average    Pheonix Copley (2.28)
Save Percentage    Pheonix Copley (.923)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 
Goals    Tom Kostopoulos (24)
Assists    Kevin Porter (35)
Points    Tom Kostopoulos (54)
PIMs    Patrick McGrath (87)
Plus/Minus    David Warsofsky (+31)
Power-Play Goals    Kostopoulos, Warsofsky (9)
Shorthanded Goals    Sundqvist, Porter (2)
Game-Winning Goals    Dominik Simon (6)
Wins    Casey DeSmith (21)
Goals-Against Average    Casey DeSmith (2.01)
Save Percentage    Casey DeSmith (.927%)


BEARS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
Apr. 11    ADD    G    Adam Morrison    Signed to PTO
Apr. 5    ADD    C    Garrett Pilon    Signed to ATO
Apr. 5    DEL    LW    Mason Mitchell    Released from ATO
Apr. 4    ADD    LW    Beck Malenstyn    Signed to ATO

PENGUINS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
Apr. 11    ADD    D    Niclas Almari    Signed to ATO
Apr. 11    ADD    D    Connor Hall    Signed to ATO
Apr. 11    DEL    D    Kevin Schulze    Signed to PTO
Apr. 11    ADD    D    Ryan Segalla    Recalled from loan to Wheeling (ECHL)


BEARS NEWS AND NOTES:

PLAYOFF PUSH: The Bears enter the final weekend of the regular season in the fourth and final playoff position, leading the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by one point. Hershey could finish anywhere from third to fifth place, as the Sound Tigers, Providence Bruins, and Bears are battling for the final two playoff spots. Both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Lehigh Valley have already secured a playoff spot. The Bears play at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight, and are home versus Providence tomorrow. The Sound Tigers visit Springfield this evening and are in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow. The Bruins are at Lehigh Valley on Friday before visiting Hershey on Saturday. 

LAST TIME VERSUS PENGUINS: The Bears and Penguins last met on March 4 in Hershey. Goaltender Phoenix Copley stopped 36 shots in his first game back at the Giant Center since being reacquired by Washington to lead the Hershey Bears to a 2-1 victory over the Penguins. The win snapped Hershey’s six-game losing streak versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Stanislav Galiev notched a goal and an assist for Hershey while Colby Williams also scored. 

PENGUIN TAMER: North Pole, Alaska native Pheonix Copley knows how to tame the Penguins. The Hershey goaltender is 3-0-0 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his career, with a 1.18 goals against average and a .959 save percentage. Copley’s 36 saves the last time the two teams met earned him the game’s first star. The Michigan Tech product has started 10 straight games for Hershey, going 6-4-0-0 with a 2.30 goals against average and .926 save percentage. 

RELIABLE RILEY: Hershey forward Riley Barber is hitting his stride at the right time for the Bears. The Pittsburgh native has points in four straight games, notching six points (two goals, four assists) in that span. He has scored the game-tying goal in two of his past three games. Due to injuries, Barber has played just two of the 11 games versus the Penguins this season, scoring one goal. He had seven points (four goals, three assists) in 11 games versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during his rookie campaign last year. 

BEARS-PENGUINS FAST FACTS: If the season were to end today, Hershey would play Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Hershey beat the Penguins in seven games in the Atlantic Division Finals last year…In 36 regular season games over the past five seasons, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Tom Kostopoulos has 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) versus the Bears…Hershey’s Chris Bourque has been held without a goal in 11 games versus the Penguins this year…Hershey’s power play is 2/31 over the past 9 games, good for just 6.5%. However, Hershey’s penalty kill is 29/33 in that same stretch, good for an impressive 87.9%...The Bears are 34-0-3-0 when leading after 40 minutes while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 39-0-1-0.

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