Game Preview: Bears at Phantoms, 7:05 p.m.
Hershey Bears (9-9-0-3) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (12-7-0-2)
Friday, December 1, 2017, 7:05 p.m
REFEREE: Olivier Gouin (54)
LINESMEN: James Tobias (61), Jud Ritter (34)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:35 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM, Hershey Bears App--Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears and Media Relations Intern Matt Trust on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
AHL MEDIA KIT FOR TONIGHT'S GAME
BEARS AT PHANTOMS: The Hershey Bears return to action this evening on the road versus Atlantic Division rival Lehigh Valley. The Bears and Phantoms meet up for the fourth time this season and for the first of three meetings in the first nine days of December. Both teams are looking for more consistency in December as the Bears are 6-3-0-1 over the past 10 games, while the Phantoms are 5-5-0-0.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears fell in their last contest, dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to Bridgeport on Sunday. The contest was a battle of the Bourque brothers. In his first game back versus his former team, Bridgeport’s Ryan Bourque scored twice, including tying the game with just over 30 seconds remaining to force overtime. The Sound Tigers Casey Bailey scored the winning shootout goal, spoiling a two-goal performance from Hershey’s Chris Bourque, who also tallied in the shootout. Lehigh Valley is also coming off a loss, falling 3-0 on Wednesday to the Binghamton Devils on home ice. Binghamton goaltender Ken Appleby outdueled Alex Lyon, earning the shutout with 25 saves. Lehigh Valley was held to 0-for-5 on the power play in the loss.
REPEAT LAST TIME: The Bears will look for more of the same tonight versus Lehigh Valley. The last time the two teams met, Hershey earned its biggest win of the season, routing the Phantoms 6-1 at Giant Center on Nov. 11. The Bears scored early and often to win their third straight game. Garrett Mitchell, Mathias Bau, and Tyler Lewington scored in the opening period, and Wayne Simpson added a goal in the second period. Riley Barber and Bau scored in the third period, and Pheonix Copley stopped 24 shots to earn the win in goal. Hershey was 2-for-3 on the power play.
BACK IN THE NESST: The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that defender Aaron Ness had been loaned to the Hershey Bears. Ness, 27, skated in eight games with the Capitals this season, registering one assist and a +2 rating to go along with eight penalty minutes. The native of Roseau, Minnesota returns to Hershey after appearing in 52 games with the Bears last season, tallying 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). The 5-foot-10, 184-pound blue liner has played in 113 career regular season games with the Chocolate and White over the past two seasons, scoring 44 points (11 goals, 33 assists) with a +7 rating. Ness has also skated in 30 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Bears, leading the club to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals. The former captain of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers has appeared in 393 career AHL games, scoring 167 points (34 goals, 133 assists).
BOURQUE’S LEGACY GROWS: Forward Chris Bourque’s goal in the first period of Sunday’s game versus Bridgeport gave him 187 career tallies with the Chocolate and White, moving him past Ross Fitzpatrick for 8th all-time in franchise history in goals scored. Bourque now chases AHL and Bears Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux who is 7th with 194 career markers with Hershey. The forward has collected 533 career points with the Bears and is currently the AHL’s leading scorer with 27 points this season.
DENY DANICK: Fresh off his first NHL recall, Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Danick Martel is back in the lineup for the Phantoms and poses a serious offensive threat. The forward leads the AHL with 14 goals on the season, with four markers coming against the Bears. Martel scored a hat trick versus Hershey on the opening night of the regular season on Oct. 7, and added a goal in a 4-3 shootout win versus Hershey on Oct. 15. Martel has scored 20 or more goals the past two seasons, and has nine career goals versus the Bears.
THIRD PERIOD WOES: The Bears have struggled closing out games this season. In the third period, the Bears have been outscored by a 30-19 margin. The 30 goals allowed is the second highest single period total in the American Hockey League, just one less than Hartford who has surrendered 31 goals in the third period. However, offensively, the third period is Lehigh Valley’s best stanza, as 27 of their 73 goals have come in the game’s final frame.
BEARS-PHANTOMS FAST FACTS: Lehigh Valley goaltender Alex Lyon has lost four of his past five starts, allowing three or more goals in each of the losses…The Washington Capitals waived forward Nathan Walker on Thursday. If he clears waivers, he will join the Bears, but as of a Friday morning update, will not play Friday in Allentown. Walker had the game-winning goal at the PPL Center in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals last year…After being one of the AHL’s top teams on the power play last season, the Phantoms are just 1-for-15 in the season series versus the Bears on the man advantage…Hershey’s power play has cooled considerably as well lately, going 3-for-33 (9.1%) over the past six games…Hershey is 0-2-0-1 in Friday games this season.
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