Game 6 Preview: Bruins at Bears, 7 p.m.
BRUINS AT BEARS: The Hershey Bears look to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals this evening. The Bears continue the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs presented by Capital BlueCross with Game 6 of the Atlantic Division Finals versus the Providence Bruins. Hershey leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2, after claiming a pair of victories on the road in Providence.
2016-17 SEASON SERIES VS PROVIDENCE (Playoffs: 3-2, Regular Season: 3-2-0-1)
December 31 PROVIDENCE Giant Center W, 4-1
January 27 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center SOL, 3-2
February 17 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center L, 4-3
February 18 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center W, 4-0
March 12 PROVDIENCE Giant Center W, 4-2
April 15 PROVIDENCE Giant Center W, 3-0
May 6-GAME 1 PROVIDENCE Giant Center L, 3-1
May 7-GAME 2 PROVIDENCE Giant Center OTW, 3-2
May 11-GAME 3 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center OTW, 2-1
May 12-GAME 4 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center L, 2-1
May 14-GAME 5 At Providence Dunkin’ Donuts Center OTW, 3-2
BEARS vs. BRUINS - SPECIAL TEAMS, 2017 PLAYOFFS
Power Play 3-for-29 (10.3%)
Penalty Kill 26-for-30 (86.7%)
Power Play 7-for-39 (17.9%)
Penalty Kill 32-for-39 (82.1%)
BEARS vs. BRUINS - SPECIAL TEAMS, 2016-17 REGULAR SEASON OVERALL:
Power Play 66-for-319 (20.7%) – 5th in AHL, 4 SHGA
Penalty Kill 250-for-305 (82.3%) – 14th in AHL, 4 SHGF
Power Play 53-for-277 (19.1%) –11th in AHL, 4 SHGA
Penalty Kill 242-for-280 (86.4%) – 2nd in AHL, 10 SHGF
BEARS vs. BRUINS – TEAM LEADERS, 2017 PLAYOFFS
Goals Chris Bourque (5)
Assists Boyd, Djoos (5)
Points Chris Bourque (8)
Plus/Minus Madison Bowey (+5)
Wins Pheonix Copley (5)
Goals-Against Average Vitek Vanecek (1.49)
Save Percentage Vitek Vanecek (.950)
Goals DeBrusk, Heinen (4)
Assists Danton Heinen (5)
Points Danton Heinen (9)
Plus/Minus Arnesson, Cross (+3)
Wins Zane McIntyre (5)
Goals-Against Average Zane McIntyre (2.13)
Save Percentage Zane McIntyre (.922)
BEARS vs. BRUINS – TEAM LEADERS, 2016-17 REGULAR SEASON OVERALL:
Goals Carey, Thomas (24)
Assists Travis Boyd (47)
Points Travis Boyd (63)
PIMs Tyler Lewington (142)
Plus/Minus Stanislav Galiev (+21)
Power-Play Goals Christian Thomas (12)
Shorthanded Goals Dustin Gazley (1)
Game-Winning Goals Paul Carey (6)
Wins Pheonix Copley (26)
Goals-Against Average Pheonix Copley (2.25)
Save Percentage Pheonix Copley (.924)
Goals Jordan Szwarz (22)
Assists Wayne Simpson (33)
Points Jordan Szwarz (54)
PIMs Tyler Randell (81)
Plus/Minus Wayne Simpson (+22)
Power-Play Goals Szwarz, Grant, DeBrusk (6)
Shorthanded Goals Sean Kuraly (3)
Game-Winning Goals Peter Cehlarik (4)
Wins Zane McIntyre (21)
Goals-Against Average Zane McIntyre (2.03)
Save Percentage Zane McIntyre (.930)
BEARS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
May 12 ADD LW Paul Carey Returned on loan from Washington (NHL)
May 6 ADD C Chandler Stephenson Returned on loan from Washington (NHL)
May 3 ADD C Garrett Pilon Signed to ATO
May 3 ADD D Lucas Johansen Signed to ATO
May 1 DEL C Chandler Stephenson Recalled form loan by Washington (NHL)
Apr. 28 ADD C Chandler Stephenson Returned on loan by Washington (NHL)
BRUINS RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
May 4 ADD C Noel Acciari Returned on loan from Boston (NHL)
Apr. 25 ADD C Sean Kuraly Returned on loan from Boston (NHL)
Apr. 23 ADD D Tommy Cross Returned on loan from Boston (NHL)
Apr. 23 ADD G Dan Vladar Returned on loan from Boston (NHL)
Apr. 20 ADD D Jeremy Lauzon Reassigned by Boston (NHL) from Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
BEARS NEWS AND NOTES:
OCEAN STATE SUCCESS: The Bears returned from Rhode Island after claiming two victories in three games versus Providence. Hershey holds a 3-2 series lead thanks to overtime wins in Game 3 and Game 5 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. In the three games in Providence, Hershey was outshot 110-43, however the Bears outscored the Bruins, 6-5. Hershey netminders Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley combined to stop 105 of the 110 shots, good for a save percentage of .955. Hershey forward Chris Bourque, a former member of the Bruins, had three goals during Hershey’s trip to Providence, including the overtime winner in Game 3.
GAME 6 HISTORY: The Hershey Bears are looking for their first Game 6 win since the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Bears last Game 6 victory came on Jun. 14, 2010, when Hershey defeated the Texas Stars 4-0 at Giant Center to capture the Calder Cup. Since then, Hershey is 0-3 in Game 6’s. In 2011, the Bears fell in the opening round in Game 6 to Charlotte, 2-1 in overtime, as the Checkers won the series, 4-2. In 2015, Hershey’s season ended with a Game 6 loss to Hartford as the Wolf Pack prevailed 6-3 at the XL Center to win the second round series. Last year, Hershey dropped Game 6 of the Atlantic Division Finals at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 6-2, as the Penguins forced Game 7.
PUSHING THE PACE: When it comes to the playoffs, Hershey's Chris Bourque elevates his game. The forward, who is the fourth in scoring in AHL playoff history, has already collected five goals in just 10 playoff games this year. This mark surpasses Bourque’s total of four goals in 21 games during the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs. His postseason high in goals is seven, accomplished during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, a year in which Hershey won the Calder Cup, and Bourque was playoff MVP. Bourque notched 18 goals during the regular season this past year. He didn’t score his fifth goal of the season until Hershey’s 21st game.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek made his first Calder Cup Playoffs start in Game 5. The 21-year-old stopped 29 shots in Hershey’s 3-2 overtime victory. Dating back to the regular season, Vanecek has won five consecutive starts, including posting a 28-save shutout in the regular season finale vs. Providence. In the regular season, Vanecek appeared in 39 games for Hershey, posting an 18-10-7 record. He finished third among rookie goaltenders with a 2.54 goals against average and posted five shutouts, a mark tied for the second most in the AHL.
PAUL’S BACK: Prior to Game 4, forward Paul Carey was re-assigned to Hershey by the Washington Capitals. The Boston native returned to the lineup with authority. Carey posted an assist in Game 4, and then collected a go-ahead goal in the second period of Game 5. The 28-year-old enjoyed a breakout season with Hershey, notching a career best in goals (24), assists (31), and points (55). The former Bruins tied with Christian Thomas for the team lead in goals, and led club with six game-winning goals. Earlier this season, Carey notched a 19-game point streak from Oct. 26 through Dec. 26.
OVERTIME DIFFERENCES: After going 3-8 in overtime during the regular season, the Bears have won three overtime games in the series versus Providence, and have posted a record of 4-1 in overtime during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. Hershey’s four overtime wins are the most the club has had in the postseason since 2010, when Hershey won eight overtime games en route to a Calder Cup title. Providence however has struggled mightily in overtime. The Bruins went 1-6 in overtime during the regular season, and are 0-4 in overtime during the playoffs. Providence has lost eight straight overtime playoff games. Their last overtime playoff win came in 2015 in Game 3 of Providence’s opening round series versus Hartford. The Bruins beat the Wolf Pack, 2-1, in triple overtime, on Apr. 26, 2015.
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